PARKERSBURG - For the second year a section of downtown Parkersburg will become a bike- and pedestrian-friendly area for Park Day 2012.
Organizer Kim Coram said the event will take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 8. This year, Park Day will be on Market Street, spanning from Second Street to Eighth Street.
Market Street will be closed to motorized traffic from the courthouse to Second Street and extending to Avery Street.
Coram said the day is billed as a car-free community festival, focusing on a variety of physical activities for the entire family that can be done outdoors. The event hopes to be part of the effort to revitalize the downtown area, she said.
"Park Day is designed to promote alternative transportation, primarily walking and bicycling, in downtown Parkersburg. Through this promotion, it is the event's intent to revitalize downtown Parkersburg," she said.
"Each time this event is held, it is the intention of the committee to 'leave behind' a design item so that the event will provide a permanent transformational change each year until this event will no longer be needed as the 'public's enhancement' of downtown will be permanent and Park Day will exist every day."
Coram said the other goal of Park Day is to have Parkersburg designated as a bike-friendly community.
"Cities voted best cities to live in are also rated as the top bike- and pedestrian-friendly cities in the U.S.," she said. "By providing and promoting these forms of transportation, we believe we will improve the quality of life in Parkersburg. We are following the model of International Park(ing) Day."
Any individual or group wishing to be part of the event can go to www.parkersburgparkday.com for more information and to download the Park Day Planning Guide.
After the 2011 event, which she said had more than 200 participants, interest in the event has grown.
"The response has been huge with more people on the planning committee," Coram said. "There will be a lot more activities with a food walking tour and master gardeners."
A new event will be a scavenger hunt sponsored by the Parkersburg Art Center.