A day in downtown for the whole family

The end of winter is in sight and March will be here in less than two weeks – can I get an Amen on that? While we’ve been fortunate to have a pretty mild winter so far, I’m betting all of us are looking forward to the start of spring and the chance to get everyone outside on a Saturday afternoon.

While the March weather is always unpredictable, we’re hoping mother nature cooperates for the fourth annual Classic Plastics Toy & Comic Expo and the second annual Savor Saturday on March 4th.

The Toy & Comic Expo promises a fun and memorable experience for the whole family, with its first ever two-day show and over 80 vendors. Celebrity guests include Steve Cardenas, who starred as Rocky DeSantos, the 2nd Red Ranger in the original Power Rangers’ and later as the Blue Ranger in the Power Rangers Zero.

A creative collaboration with Classic Plastics Toy Store, Savor Saturday was created to highlight and promote downtown restaurants and showcase their unique offerings. The event seeks to provide exposure and value to the participating restaurants, and draw both new and repeat customers to downtown throughout the day. After enjoying the Expo, families are encouraged to stick around downtown and sample savory treats from twelve different participating downtown restaurants:

·         Parkersburg Brewing Company

·         The Coffee Bar

·         Corner Café

·         Crystal Café

·         The Daily Grind

·         DownTown Specialty Bakery

·         Starbucks at the Blennerhassett Hotel

·         Timely Brew

·         Village Cakery

·         Toscana in Appalachia

·         Maka Mia Pizza

·         Breads & Beyond Bakery

Samples from each participating restaurant will be available for just $1 and customers will receive one entry into a grand-prize drawing for every sample purchased. The grand prize will be dinner for two at any downtown restaurant and two tickets to the Taste of Parkersburg annual event on Saturday, June 3rd.

The Toy & Comic Expo will be held at the Parkersburg Art Center (725 Market St.) and begins at 10 am on Saturday, March 4th. The Expo runs until 5pm on Saturday and re-opens on Sunday, March 5th at 11 a.m. Maps and more information on participating restaurants for Savor Saturday will be located at the entrance to the Parkersburg Art Center on Saturday, March 4th.

Folks, this is our chance to show our support for small and local businesses who do an enormous amount of good in our community. When we do something as simple and easy as enjoying a Saturday downtown, eating lunch and showing up can mean real transformation of our city. Our participation in a fun event that includes the entire family can mean the difference between a new business choosing to take a leap of faith or playing it safe and keeping their dreams on hold. The future of our downtown depends on us.

Date night in Downtown PKB!

Date night in downtown Parkersburg was something that I had never considered as a full family event until recently.

Of course I've gone on date nights in downtown....dinner at Mangos, drinks at the Blenny, or catching a summer concert at the Point but it has always (well, for the last 4 years anyway) required me to secure a baby sitter for the littlest person in our family. 

Last Saturday night, with the help of the Market Street YMCA's first Parents Night Out,  planning for a date night got a whole lot easier! 

The Market Street YMCA hosted its first Parents Night Out Saturday February 11th, open to children 6 weeks to 12 years. Parents night Out, which runs from 6pm-9pm, consists of a movie, a craft and a snack. February's Parents Night Out was a small group but received a lot of positive response from kids and parents alike, according to the coordinator of the Market Street YMCA, Missy Wigal. The cost of the program is $20 per child, $15 for siblings. 

We dropped off our favorite girl to play with her friends and then headed out on foot {we parked once, in front of the Y with no issues--there is not a parking issue in downtown!} for our date night. Planning a head a bit and since it was the unofficial Valentine's Day date night, we made a reservation at Mangos Latin Bistro. Our first stop though, was right across the street from the Market Street YMCA, the Parkersburg Brewing Co. There we worked on checking off sampling another WV craft beer on our list. I was happy to see many large groups enjoying the newest brewery atmosphere that is perfect for any celebration. 

I am proud of the transformation Downtown PKB is making. Family friendly, fun atmosphere and unique eats is what awaits you on your next trip downtown.
— Kristin Meeks, entrepreneur

Then we were on to our reservation at Mangos. Due to Parents Night Out and the Valentine's Day weekend, they chose to open their doors on a Saturday night when they are typically closed. The food was amazing and there was many couples and families there enjoying dinner. Since it was a unseasonably warm evening, we decided for a walk after dinner. We ended up at Spats at the Blennerhassett Hotel for drinks where we ran into another set of parents enjoying their night out!    

We walked up past Classics Plastics and just missed them, as I was hoping to challenge my husband to a old school arcade duel--though I made a mental note to get there before 8pm next month. We were short on time and temps were dropping, so we decided on desert at our last stop back to the Parkersburg Brewing Co. I may have missed out on the apple strudel at the Point Park Market Place during their Valentine's Day Dinner, but for a Nutella lover, "the Deb" at the Brewing Co. hit the spot.

I am proud of the transformation Downtown PKB is making. Family friendly, fun atmosphere and unique eats is what awaits you on your next trip downtown.

Kristin Meeks is a small business owner and a ongoing cheerleader for economic development in the Mid Ohio Valley. Kristin currently serves on the board of directors for Downtown PKB and is the Communications Chair. 

Spend Valentine's Day in downtown Parkersburg

Valentine's Day falls on a Tuesday this year so you have not one, but two chances to celebrate in downtown Parkersburg.

On Saturday, February 11, the Market Street YMCA will host its first Parents Night Out, offering parents a chance to have dinner downtown with a little peace and quiet! Mango's will be open late (reservations required), or you can dine at Parkersburg Brewing Company or Spat's at the Blennerhassett Hotel. With so many options, you can't go wrong! 

If you're waiting to celebrate on Valentine's Day, check out the Point Park Marketplace and their dinner package which features dinner, dessert and wine! 

Whether you celebrate on Saturday or Tuesday, or both -- be sure to celebrate in downtown Parkersburg. 

Downtown Poised to Welcome New Business, Aspire Salon

In 2016, Downtown PKB welcomed eight new businesses to downtown Parkersburg. Now just one month into the new year, we are poised to welcome the first new business of 2017 – Aspire Salon. Salon owner Pam Creel has been a stylist for 25 years.  We took some time to sit down with Pam and talk about the area’s only Aveda-concept salon.  

Q: What made you interested in opening a salon and why did you choose to locate downtown?

A: Owning my own salon has been a dream since I graduated from Cosmetology school. Aspire Salon opened in 2011, and I chose to expand and relocate to the downtown area where I felt the salon could play a bigger part in the community. Downtown Parkersburg is starting to come alive with renewal and I wanted to be a part of that.

Q: How did you choose the name Aspire?

A: The name Aspire was chosen for its definition; to aim or seek something greater, to rise up, soar. Our mission at Aspire is “to uplift, to rise up, aim for something greater, to bring out the spirit and beauty that lies within each of us by creating a healthy harmonious environment that can calm the spirit or ignite it to our highest level." We want this for our staff, our clients and our community.

Q: What makes an Aveda salon different from other salons?

A: When you visit an Aveda salon, you will immediately notice the soothing scents of aromatherapy. This is just the beginning of the relaxing experience you will get at an Aveda salon.

Q: Will there be any specials during your first month of business?

A: During the month of February, we will offer several specials that give an opportunity to try some of our services for free! We will have two membership offers as well as door prizes...but you have to wait for the Grand Opening to get the details, so be sure to stop by on February 10 between 3pm and 7pm. 

Q: What will be unique about your staff?

A: Our staff will have ongoing training in their special fields of service. Aveda is a leader in technical training and supports its salons by offering a wide variety of training for all staff, as well as business training for salon owners.

Q: What else do you want people to know about Aspire?  

A: Aspire will offer all hair services for men and women. We will also offer massage, facials, waxing and more. Come let us treat you like a king or a queen and let us melt away the stress of the day with an experience you won't soon forget.

We hope you’ll join us as we welcome Aspire to downtown on February 10th and celebrate the growth happening in downtown Parkersburg. The salon is located at 705 Market Street.

Increasing the State Historic Tax Credit

Revitalize West Virginia’s Downtowns is a coalition of economic development professionals, architects, developers, community developers, city officials and historic preservationists that want to increase West Virginia’s income-producing historic tax credit to make downtowns of all sizes desirable places to live and work.

Downtown PKB supports these efforts and encourages you to take action to help see this proposal to increase West Virginia’s historic tax credit to be successful. To find ways that you can take action, visit https://revitalizewvdowntowns.com/lend-your-support/