e Annual Parkersburg Chowder is July 28, 2018, at the Parkersburg Community Building and Park.  The highlight of the Parkersburg Chowder is the annual parade at 1:30 p.m.  What began as a parade of only tractors has turned into a large parade of tractors, horses, cars, churches and politicians.  The parade will be led through downtown Parkersburg by Richland Co. Sheriff, Andy Hires.   This year we will be honoring Elva Waxler, as Parade Grand Marshall.  
Proceeds from the chowder go to the Parkersburg Oak Hill Cemetery. The cemetery also makes a donation to the Village Park and community building for the use of the grounds for the chowder.  Year-long planning goes into this event and is coordinated by the Chowder Committee, the Park Board and the Cemetery Board.  Preparation of the grounds and facilities for this annual event has already begun.  
 The Parkersburg Chowder main event is the sale of chowder by the bowl and carryout.  Plans are to cook approximately 750 gallons of chowder.  Preparation of vegetables and chowder ingredients begin late Friday afternoon.  Volunteers are needed late afternoon for vegetable preparation as well as stirring chowder all during the night up to the time of serving.  As cooking begins on late Friday night, the head cook duties are shared by Shawn Rose and Dean Smith.  A drive thru lane for those who want to pick up their chowder without having to get out of their vehicle is available.  Additional workers have been recruited for faster service in the drive-up lane and alleviate traffic jams in Parkersburg.
 At approximately 10:30 a.m. the morning of the chowder, the road on the west side of the park becomes a one-way road south only to accommodate the drive thru chowder lane.  Serving time inside the building begins at 10:30 a.m. depending on the progress of the chowder being cooked.
One of the many specialties is pork barbeque that is prepared by Scott Hughes and his crew.   Pies, cakes, and salads are also available to sit down and eat.  The large donation of pies and cakes by individuals is very much appreciated.  Dairy Dee ice cream has been added to the menu this year.
Returning to the Chowder in 2018 will be the tractor display.  This tractor display allows area classic tractor owners to display and parade their tractor.   The lineup for the parade will be at the Parkersburg Christian Church.  There will be no entry fee to display tractors, autos or motorcycles and to be in the parade.   New this year will be emergency service vehicles on display for the young and old to enjoy.   Richland County Sheriff Department, Olney Fire Department, and Air-Evac Lifeteam will have equipment and representatives present.
There will be a Little Mr. & Miss Contest beginning at 1:00 p.m. and the parade will follow the announcement of the winners or approximately at 1:30 p.m.
 The chowder committee is also extending a special invitation to Parkersburg area veterans to be in the parade.  Arrangements are being made for transportation of the veterans in the parade.  The parade line up will be at the Christian Church at 1:20 p.m.
If you would like more information, please contact Jan Ridgely (618-445-2344) or Ed Clodfelter (618-442-5592).