UPDATE: 9/16/2012 2:48 PM
"What a wonderful way to unwind after a long week," says Francis Brookhart.
"It's just good to be with people. To have good food, good drink. for people to be mature and responsible and just have a good time," says Karin Ritchie.
Taste of Parkersburg combines all those things.
16 restaurants and 25 wine and beer vendors line Bicentennial Park as folks make their way through the crowd.
"We really start out with the philosophy that we want to do a quality event. When you add local restaurants. You add some great wine and beer vendors you get an event that frankly people are proud of. They're celebrating their community," says Cecil Childress with the Blennerhassett Hotel.
150 volunteers put in hours of time to make it a success.
And for vendors the success continues long after they leave.
"Well it's a great way to meet people in the area and show them what we serve, where we work. And once they taste if for themselves we know they'll be coming in," says Zane Offenberger, a server at Lui Lui restaurant.
Organizers, vendors, and musicians all aim to please.
"The food is scrumptious and delicious. What a wonderful community opportunity to get to see friends," says Brookhart.
"The entertainment is unbelievable. Very professional. And I used to play in a jazz band and I'm impressed with this," says Mike Grove.
It's one of those rare occasions that unites thousands for a night of fun, and incites a feeling of community togetherness.
"I think there are a lot of elements here. One is that there are a lot of opportunities that you don't normally get from vendors and people who bring food, but it's like a big community picnic. You know everyone comes together and you see people you haven't seen in a long time and make new friends, people sitting at the table with you and everybody has a smile on their face. You know what more could you ask of an evening like this?" says Jenny Keup.
Maybe the only thing to ask is for the evening to never end.
It's just a few days away, and already people are getting excited about this year's Taste of Parkersburg event.
It's the 7th annual event held right here in downtown Parkersburg. The event mixes the taste of excellent local restaurants, with the sounds and sights of everything else the city has to offer. It's expected to be the biggest Taste of Parkersburg event in history.
The weekend kicks off with a wine tasting event, but there's plenty more new exciting things happening this year. It starts Friday and goes through Saturday.
For more information on the event you can visit www.tasteofparkersburg.com