PARKERSBURG — Crowds of people have once again gathered downtown for a taste of Parkersburg, after a two-year absence caused by a pandemic.
Three vendor groups have been set up at Bicentennial Park for attendees to enjoy, featuring different food and beverage companies.
Toscano in Appalachia, aka DeFeo Family Vineyard & Winery, visited Wirt County again. They are regulars at the event, but visitors are always delighted to see them every year.
“I have been making wine for over 60 years, but commercially only 20”, said Carmine De Feo.
He says he started making wine with his grandfather who, like him, was Italian.
“We crush our own grapes by hand, and in our dry reds, I’m proud to say the only thing used is red grapes,” he said.
DeFeo explained that grape skins produce their own yeast, which he uses to make wine.
His wife Pamela DeFeo said they couldn’t get by without family. Also present were their adult children, who began to learn and operate the family business.
Although there were plenty of wines to choose from, other options could also be found.
Hawk Knob Hard Cider and Mead of Lewisburg offered their product as a sample.
“Our cider is rooted in the Appalachian tradition,” said employee Dylan Yokum. “Our unique approach to this old mountain favorite infuses our 12-month bourbon-aged cider with organic elderberries.”
Their traditionally made ciders are unfiltered and born from a blend of locally grown West Virginia apples, she said.
Local businesses such as Parkersburg Brewing Co. and Wine Down on Market were also represented.
As for food options, Pappy’s Lip Smackin’ BBQ, a local restaurant that hosts and hosts festivals, served brisket with its signature sauce.
Owner Aaron Clubb is originally from Missouri and explained that when he first moved to Parkersburg he couldn’t find a barbecue sauce he liked, so he started making his own.
He said he had a business partner who runs another Pappy’s in Missouri.
After eating, or maybe having a drink, people could get dessert from several vendors. One option was Little Stir, from Vienna.
“We’ve been around for 20 years and are a family business and primarily a family business,” said owner Cynthia Morris.
Many of the cakes and other desserts they bake are family recipes that have been passed down.
“However, we make desserts for all occasions, so we have new recipes and new things too,” she says.
Their company is working on setting up a food truck this summer, Morris said.
“We are planning to hold events before going on a route, but we will visit the south side (where they first opened the store) and visit them for sure,” she says.
Madeline Scarborough can be reached at [email protected]