PARKERSBURG- Interest in the Point Park Music Series continued to grow Friday night, with more than 1,300 people gathered at the Riverfront Park Amphitheater at Point Park in downtown Parkersburg.
Elton John tribute artist Lee Alverson and his four-piece band took the stage at 8 p.m. to a capacity crowd gathered at the amphitheater and along the dock at Point Park. About 20 boats gathered on the Ohio River around the amphitheater.
Raymond and Mary Jenks, of Lubeck, were among the people gathered at Point Park for Friday night's concert.
Elton John tribute artist Lee Alverson performs a variety of Elton John hits Friday night at the Riverfront Park Amphitheater as part of the Point Park Music Series. More than 1,300 people packed the amphitheater for the show. (Photo by Wayne Towner)
"We enjoy what they've been putting on this summer down here," Raymond Jenks said of the music series, adding the couple has attended nearly every concert.
"I think it's really nice," said Mary Jenks of the Point Park Music Series.
"I'm glad to see it be so successful," he said in agreement.
The Jenkses said they would like to see the program grow next year, and continue bringing in a variety of music. Raymond would like to see more local acts added to the mix, including young acts that might get more exposure from the big crowds the series has been drawing.
Glada Hall and Judy Paschen, both of Belpre, also attended Friday's concert. The two have attended several of the concerts and said they enjoyed Friday night's Elton John-inspired performance.
"This is our year, in the '60s," said Hall.
"I think it's wonderful," she said of the series. "The view, I think this is wonderful for the community, for Parkersburg and also for Belpre."
The music series will conclude 8 p.m. Aug. 31 with "1964," a internationally popular Beatles tribute band.
Ricky Yeager, planning administrator with the city of Parkersburg, said the music series has been exceeding organizers' expectations from the first night on. Friday night's show had nearly double the number of people who attended the first show on July 27, when the first crowd was 600-700 people.
Bleachers were added for Friday night's show and additional vendors were in place to provide concessions, Yeager said.
"I think it's a great night on the river; we've actually added more seating and ... we're at capacity tonight," he said.
Yeager said plans are in the works for the 2013 summer season. This year's series featured five shows and that could double to 10 for next summer.
During the final performance on Aug. 31, he said surveys will be made available to people attending the show to see what they might like to see for next year's series. The survey may also be added to the series website at www.pointparkmusic.com, he said.
"It's really important that we provide music that people want to hear," Yeager said of the surveys and their importance.
Besides the Point Park Music Series, Yeager said the Riverfront Park Amphitheater has been growing in popularity as a public venue for a variety of programs. Several church groups have held concerts and other programs in the amphitheater, along with others.
"A lot of different organizations are already taking advantage of this great venue," he said. Scheduling for the amphitheater is handled by calling the mayor's office at the Parkersburg Municipal Building.