Fall festivals and activities lining up in Greater Parkersburg

Labor Day weekend promises to be packed with outdoor activities in Parkersburg. Reserve a spot aboard the Island Belle Sternwheeler on Sept. 7 and enjoy a dinner and river cruise. Complete the evening by attending the final Point Park Music Series Concert. Reservations are required for the dinner cruise. Call 304-420-4800 or 800-CALL WVA to learn more about times and costs. Then, there will be a free concert by Wanted, the Bon Jovi Tribute, beginning at 8 p.m. This will be the last Point Park Music Series Concert this year. Visit www.downtownpkb.com

The 5th Annual Parkersburg Paddlefest from Sept. 14 to 16 is a weekend water festival. Paddlefest weekend starts on Friday night (Sept. 14) at 8 p.m. with a lighted paddle up the Little Kanawha River from Point Park. Electric lights and glow sticks illuminate the group on this opening night event. 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. On Sunday (Sept. 16), before heading home, the festival offers a farewell lake paddling excursion on North Bend State Park Lake.www.parkersburgpaddlefest.com

Visit the sternwheelers docked at Point Park for Riverfest, Sept. 14 and 15 and enjoy entertainment, an antique auto show, and activities for the kids. A fireworks display will take place at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, followed by music from the MIXX Band. www.facebook.com/PKBRiverfest/

The 56th annual juried Harvest Moon Arts & Crafts Festival boasts more than 175 crafters showing, demonstrating, and selling their handmade products each year. Festival proceeds go toward supporting youth recreation within Wood County. The event takes place Sept. 15 and 16 in Parkersburg City Park.

Downtown Throwdown BBQ & Brewfest, also on Sept. 15, takes places at Bicentennial Park (between the Blennerhassett Hotel and the Parkersburg City Building) in downtown Parkersburg from 6 to 10 p.m. and features various barbecue favorites and craft beers from around the state. www.downtownpkb.com

Make plans to also attend Volcano Days from Sept. 21 to 23 at Mountwood Park. The festival features an antique steam and gas engine show, model railroad display, kiddie tractor pulls, corn meal grinding, apple butter making, historic wagon rides, crafts and flea market, food vendors and entertainment. www.mountwoodpark.org

The Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tours are one of the most popular ghost tours in the nation and take individuals through the quaint streets of downtown Parkersburg and recount its haunted history and famous paranormal tales. Tour guides will tell you various supernatural stories that are unique to the Parkersburg area. Tours are offered Friday and Saturday evenings beginning in Sept. 29 through Nov. 4. Tours begin at 7:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Blennerhassett Hotel (corner of 4th and Market streets) and takes approximately two hours (walk is two miles). https://www.hauntedparkersburgtours.com/

Take an ole fashion river cruise aboard the Valley Gem Sternwheeler on Oct. 2, 9 or 16 and 18. Marietta, Ohio’s unique location allows the Valley Gem to offer a variety of Lock and Dam tours. Tours depart at noon and return at 3 p.m. with a cafe menu available for lunch on board. www.valleygemsternwheeler.com

Enjoy the autumn evening air at the Blennerhassett Mansion by Candlelight during two nights, on Oct. 12 and 13, where sternwheeler rides will transport you back in time to 1805 where the Blennerhassett Mansion and grounds are lit by hundreds of flickering candles.

Strike up a conversation with historic figures dressed in 19th century costumes, watch dancing, and enjoy a traditional harvest dinner. Advanced reservations are required to attend this event and may be purchased by contacting the Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com

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