Updated Mon, Jul 14, 2014 5:44 pm
The 30th annual Lancaster Festival, central Ohio's summer salute to the arts, launches Wednesday, July 16, featuring 11 days of concerts, musicals, family activities, an art walk and more. Here are some highlights of this year's festival:
Seasons Greetings and Art Walk, July 16
The festival opens with a symphonic concert commemorating the 150th anniversary of St. Mary Church, the site of opening night throughout the festival's history. The concert will feature the world premiere orchestration of "Spring Song" by Vadim Neselovskyi. An ice cream social will take place outside the church at 6 p.m., followed by Brass Fanfare at 7 p.m.
Enjoy the Art Walk and meet the artists at the Decorative Arts Center, 5:30-7:30 p.m., also on July 16.
Red Wanting Blue, July 17
Based in Columbus but with national acclaim, Red Wanting Blue take the Wendel Concert Stage at 7 p.m. Go Analog and Alternate Routes will open the show.
Two festival favorites include Festival Fair Day on July 19 at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and Rising Park Day on July 24 (9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.) Fair Day offers many hands-on activities, entertainment, carousel and train rides, animals to greet, a rock wall to climb and a beach for play. Children are admitted free, parking is free and adult admission is $5.
Amy Grant, July 19
The Festival Orchestra opens the evening at Ohio University Lancaster's Wendel Concert Stage with "Hollywood Hit Parade." Six-time Grammy Award-winner Amy Grant takes the stage to perform her pop music hits at 8:15 p.m.
Cinderella, July 21
Ohio University Lancaster Theatre presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical Cinderella at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Visit this link for details.
Queen Nation, July 23
Queen Nation presents A Tribute to the Music of Queen, 7:30 p.m. at the Wendel Concert Stage. Local band Bad Influence will open.
Disney Fantasia Live in Concert, July 24
Music from Fantasia, performed by the Lancaster Festival Orchestra, accompanied by film clips, narrative and dance. 7 p.m., Fairfield Christian Church.
Christopher Cross, July 26 (Grand Finale)
The Festival Orchestra opens the evening with "Classical Sailing," a nod to Christopher Cross' mega-hits "Sailing" and "Ride Like the Wind," before the Grammy and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter takes the Wendel Concert stage. The concert begins at 8:15 p.m.
Bring a cooler of beverages and edibles, or purchase food on-site, and plan to stay for spectacular fireworks after the show.
Free for All
Thanks to many generous donors and sponsors, the Lancaster Festival offers free entertainment all around town. Take in a concert at the downtown bandstand daily at 12:15 p.m. (July 18-26), plus Major Arts for Minors at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, AHA! Children's Museum, and magic, music and history at the Knights of Columbus Hall.
From cafe and candlelight concerts to chamber music, jazz, pop and rock, the Lancaster Festival offers opportunities to listen, groove and appreciate a variety of styles and talents. Visit www.lancasterfestival.org for details and ticket information.