PARKERSBURG — In a battle over barbecue supremacy, there was plenty to talk about during this year’s Downtown Throwdown BBQ and Beerfest that took place at Bicentennial Park in Parkersburg Saturday. People flocked to the park eagerly voting for their favorite barbecue. There were delicious options for local restaurants that you could enjoy. Those were: DiCarlo’s, Pappy’s Lip Smackin’ BBQ, Parkersburg Brewing Company, The Blennerhassett Hotel, Mountain State BBQ, The Changed Plate, The Little Stirr and Benny & Babe.
The Throwdown was organized by Downtown PKB, Parkersburg Jaycees and Parkersburg Jaycees. Several volunteers and vendors also made this year’s clash a possibility. It was great fun for all age groups. The cost of tickets was $20, and kids 12 and below were free. From 6:45 to 7:30 pm, Back Porch Alibi entertained guests. Easy Street Band played from 8:45 until 9:45. Spriggs and Mountain State Beverage were distributors of beer.
Nicole Guinn Parkersburg Jaycees Marketing Chairman stated that the event was running in just seconds, and patrons were ready to go.
“We’re in charge of getting all of the wonderful volunteers for this event,”She spoke. “Whether that’s entrance gates, jockey boxes, beer and all of that fun stuff. We’re really happy and privileged that they have allowed us to be a part of it. We’ve been a part of it since the conception of it, and it’s slowly grown throughout the years. It takes a lot, not only on our our part, but on Downtown PKB’s part, as well. We have corporate sponsors that are pouring beer for us tonight. They had volunteered their time to do that, and they’ve taken care of the tickets, the wristbands, the signage. Downtown PKB takes care of all the food vendors, and it’s probably taken two months of planning to get all the volunteers and put them where they need to be, so it’s definitely a big task.”
The people who put up the barbecues were hard workers and worked long hours.
“Well, with me, I was also down at the Belleville Homecoming,” Aaron Clubb of Pappy’s Lip Smackin’ BBQ said. “I was in two places at once, so there was a lot of prep. We smoked the meat all night long, and we’re down here ready to serve some really good barbecue. It’s traditional stuff, so it’s all homemade. This is our second time here, and it would have been more if not (for past cancellations). This is a fun event. The more you (prepare barbecue), the better you get at it., and you find out the little secrets of making good barbecue.”
The same is said for Mountain State BBQ’s Keith Murphy.
“We started at 1 o’clock this morning and fired the smoker up. Got it up to temperature, and we put the ribs on, and we grind our brisket burgers fresh on the morning of. We fried them, ran over here, set everything up, ran back and picked up the food, and now we’re back to selling,”He spoke. “I’m trying to get our name out. We’re a startup, and we’ve been around since 2020 (in Mineral Wells). They’re expecting 2,500 people, so I’m hoping.”
Of the many volunteers, Wendy Shriver of Discovery World on Market was there to lend a helping hand and to spread awareness for its children’s museum opening in January. A former Downtown PKB Executive Director, Wendy Shriver knows the requirements for an event of this magnitude to be a success.
“Their ultimate goal is to revitalize downtown Parkersburg, so doing events like this is a part of their mission. They’re a partner of ours. We work together collaboratively, so it’s a good way to help them out. This was a great way to get exposure for Discovery World on Market,”She spoke. “There are lots of parents out tonight, so since we are an emerging museum getting ready to open in January, we decided to help them out and help work a booth for them. We are bringing awesome STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) education for children with the target demographic of 0 to eight-year-olds. All of the exhibits are interactive, hands-on exhibits. Hopefully by the end of the year, we will be open. We’ll be planning a grand opening in January.”
Josh Hughes is available at [email protected]