PARKERSBURG - The Downtown Farmers' Marketplace will celebrate Christmas in July from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.
The market's third annual Christmas in July celebration will include live blues and jazz music by Simply Ira and a special holiday cooking demonstration with local chef Kiki Angelos.
The market is held at Bicentennial Park adjacent to the Wood County Courthouse and the Parkersburg Municipal Building. Numerous local vendors participate in the market.
"Christmas in July is celebrated in communities across the country - it's a great way to bring people together and have a good time," said Rickie Yeager, planning administrator for the city of Parkersburg and an organizer of the market. "Despite the incredible heat last year, a lot of people came out for the market's special promotion."
In keeping with the season, the green and white market tent will be decorated for the holiday. Helping again this year will be several market vendors as they organize their own table display.
Patrons who visit the market can vote on their favorite table display. The vendor with the most votes will receive a free gift card from a local establishment.
Votes can be cast at the Information Booth from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In between the live music and cooking demonstration, organizers will be popping popcorn and helping kids make a keepsake of their own. Every young person who stops by the Kids Craft Table will have an opportunity to make a sugar cookie ornament, free of charge.
Volunteers from the Parkersburg Actors Guild will paint faces. Organizers also will give away reusable shopping bags to customers who make a purchase using their Electronic Benefit Transfer Card.
The reusable bags were designed by students in Tori Jackson's marketing class at West Virginia University at Parkersburg this year and printed by SW Resources. Bags will continue to be given away each market day until supplies lasts, and there is a limit of one bag per family.
"With a lot of locally grown produce coming on, now is a great time to browse by the market for your favorite items," Yeager said.
For a complete list of activities and promotions being planned for Christmas in July, visit the market's Facebook page.