Downtown Marietta will welcome Autumn during October’s First Friday, sponsored by West Virginia University Parkersburg. The evening, titled Fall Fest, will feature activities for kids along with late shopping and special events in participating businesses.

From 5 p.m. until dark, WVU-P will be on the Armory lawn with family-fun activity and food stations, provided by various academic divisions and campus departments. School mascot Ricky the Riverhawk will be on hand to greet people and take photos, and visitors can enjoy a bag of popcorn while watching spooky science experiments, playing cornhole and much more.

According to Rebecca Rhodes, Program Specialist, Marketing & Communications “Marietta Main Street’s First Fridays truly embrace the spirit of community. We are proud to be a part of an event that highlights the town’s history, small businesses, eateries and artisans, all while offering fun opportunities for everyone to enjoy.”

Laura Pytlik, owner of Wit & Whimzy, said the downtown businesses are excited about the monthly event. “WVU-P is a great partner, and we appreciate them reaching across the river to engage with Marietta. Fall Fest will be a fun evening for families and an excellent opportunity to visit the downtown shops and businesses.” While some businesses will be celebrating the Autumn theme, others will be decked out in Halloween décor and visitors may even spot some costumed characters.

Details can be found on the WVUP Facebook page, the Marietta Main Street Facebook page, and at

First Fridays are monthly events that showcase the best of Marietta and allow the community to take advantage of extended shopping hours.