You may have noticed some foliage around town that isn’t native to the area; and I’m not talking about plants. It seems as if overnight, the city of Parkersburg erupted into a colorful yarn-inspired work of art. In every corner of the city, from the north to the south, you can find unique creations made of yarn that would certainly catch your eye.
The masterminds behind it all call themselves the Parkersburg Community Yarn Bombers. Two women by the names of Rina Goins and Kim vanRijn founded “PCYB” in order to create a community art project “that would connect with our community while celebrating our diversity” (Goins). They wanted to host an event that everyone could participate in and join the fun. The PCYB came up with a way that members of the community normally divided could come together and celebrate our town’s history and diversity.
The group felt that yarn was a “nostalgic” choice that could be easily transformed into individual works of art. This is the group’s second year since its founding and its third yarn bombing event. All yarn donated and used is kept and reused for the years to come. The city-wide art gallery isn’t simply fun patterns; the yarn creations also tell a story. Perched on a neighborhood fence is this hungry little caterpillar.
You can also find a hamburger in front of our local North End Tavern! Outside of some establishments you may notice a deeper message: Acceptance. Love, equality, and acceptance drape the lawns of many buildings around town. These pieces call for the community to come together and recognize one another as human beings, rather than political affiliations or sexuality.
PCYB has yarn projects in over 50 different locations. Some of these consist of churches, local businesses, homes, telephone poles, and organizations. With the gracious permission of Mayor Joyce, the PCYB was able to decorate several spots downtown, including the trees outside of the municipal building. Obermeyer’s Florist also has their own yarn bomb for the second year in a row in solidarity with the event! You can also participate in the spirit of yarn bombing! The PCYB would like to mention that anyone is welcome to join the event, but only on your own property or on the property of a willing participant. Let’s keep it fun!
It’s important to mention that many of the items donated to be used in the yarn bombing projects hold sentimental value to the ones that donate. PCYB is so grateful that they can create a beautiful work of art from the special pieces made in order to spread a message or express the individuality of the donor.
The businesses that offered to have PCYB utilize their grounds were told that they were not to pick what yarn creations were placed there. The group wanted to reserve the right to decide which locations were best for the individual works of art. They wanted to honor their donors by making sure their pieces were seen, big or small. (
While some days the group decorates the town together, others they simply tackle the city in pairs. No matter how many of them participate they always have fun! (Volunteers change from day to day. If you’re interested in being a part of the fun, you can message them on Facebook and get more details. It’s the group’s intention to change the dynamic of their event annually. Rina said to me in a message that they want to be sure their yarn donors know that they appreciate their hard work. She hopes that each piece has been displayed honorably. Next year’s yarn event will be different in some ways, but just as satisfying and fun!
I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll start brushing up my crocheting skills for next year’s yarn bombing event! If you don’t have the patience for the craft, don’t forget you can always donate yarn for other creations. Everyone is encouraged to seek out these wonderful creations and witness the sentimental labors of their fellow community members. Beautiful movements such as this can only help improve and rejuvenate the love we have for our hometown. Bringing the community together is one of many positive impacts the Parkersburg Community Yarn Bombers has had on a city that stands stronger united.