Parkersburg Paddlefest Weekend will is slated to take place September 14-16, 2018 and will once again coincide with the craft brew and BBQ event, Downtown Throwdown on Sept. 15.

This fun-filled three-day festival is dedicated to people-powered watercraft. Kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards are welcome to come and participate. Point Park, at the confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers, is the setting for the first two days of activities. The weekend concludes with a lake excursion on Sunday at North Bend State Park Lake.

Paddlefest weekend begins on Friday night (Sept. 14) with a glow paddle at 8 p.m. Electric lights and glow sticks will illuminate boats as the group paddles up the Little Kanawha River from Point Park. The boat with the most spectacular light display will win a prize!

On Friday and Saturday evenings, the 2nd Annual Riverfest returns to Point Park bringing with it a group of iconic Sternwheelers for well-loved local food and music. The event is free and family-friendly.

The main event on Saturday (Sept. 15) 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., provides a unique opportunity to paddle a three-mile stretch of the Ohio River, from Point Park downriver to Blennerhassett Island and back, while commercial traffic is restricted on the Ohio River. No worries about being run over by barges. Safety watercraft will be on hand to slow private motorized craft passing through. On Blennerhassett Island, the staff and volunteers at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park will welcome Paddlefest participants to tour Blennerhassett Mansion, enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, special events and activities. (Please note: You will need to bring cash if you are interested in taking tours of Blennerhassett Mansion, horse-drawn wagon ride, or purchasing anything from the concession stand while on Blennerhassett Island.)

Temple Challenge, Full Circle Yoga, and Appalachian Disc Golf will all be offering additional activities for those interested once they reach the island. These activities will be free.

Saturday evening (Sept. 15), 6 to 10 p.m., Paddlefest participants are encouraged to attend “The Downtown Throwdown”. The event is a craft brew and barbecue blowout that features fantastic food, frosty beverages and live local performers making inspired music! It takes place in Parkersburg’s Bi-Centennial Park, just three blocks from Point Park in historic downtown Parkersburg.

On Sunday (Sept 16), before heading home, the festival offers a farewell lake paddling excursion on North Bend State Park Lake beginning at 11 a.m. The lake, located 40 minutes east of Parkersburg, is only 17 years old and still has lots of standing trees in the water which have become habitat for what is arguably the largest congregation of Red-headed woodpeckers in the United States. It offers a scenic and serene final paddling trip with which to end a wonderfully wet weekend!

Registered Parkersburg Paddlefest Participants are insured by the American Canoe Association (ACA) throughout the duration of the event. If you are planning on registering on the morning of Paddlefest, please bring cash of the correct amount of $20 per paddler.

To learn more about Greater Parkersburg and these events, visit, call the Greater Parkersburg Convention & Visitors Bureau office at 304-428-1130 or email Hannah Duffield at