FestivALL Celebrates 10 Years Of Highlighting Charleston’s Arts Scene

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photo: Greg Sava

FestivALL Charleston 2014 will celebrate 10 years with a diverse schedule that includes past favorites and many new events. The popular fest returns June 20-29.

"To celebrate our 10th year, we are adding some new events, such as FestivALT, a concert that features alt rock and country rock bands, as well as continuing popular FestivALL anchors such as Wine & All That Jazz, Blues, Brews & BBQ, Chili Cook-Off, Taste-of-ALL and the popular art fairs," said FestivALL Executive Director Larry Groce. "For the Mayor’s Concert on June 26, we have a returning favorite: Aaron Neville who performed with his brothers during FestivALL 2006. Also the Italian Compagnia TPO, which was here in 2010, will be back with an exciting family show called 'Bleu' and the Dance Gala will feature soloists who currently perform with New York City Ballet."

FestivALL developed around the concept of pyramiding events — building upon existing events and adding new ones to provide multiple options to experience art, music, dance, theater and other entertainment during the 10-day festival.

"FestivALL strives to offer new events each year," added Groce, "but we also know visitors love our established events, so we certainly will continue favorites such as popular street performers, River Queen cruises, the West Side Main Street Wiener Dog Races and Ice Cream Social, the Art Parade, the site-specific plays and the Carriage Trail Walk that includes music, dance, theater and visual arts. All of the events combine to carry out FestivALL's goal of transforming the city of Charleston into a work of art."

Many of the activities are designed to be family friendly and are also free.

The Drive-By Truckers

New events this year include:

* FestivALT, an alternative rock and country concert, is scheduled for Saturday, June 21, at Appalachian Power Park and featuring the headliners Drive-By Truckers. Four other bands to be announced.

* West Virginia Writer's Roundtable scheduled for Sunday, June 22, with special guest Scott McClanahan, author of Hill William and Crappalachia. Time and venue TBA.

* Pittsburgh's Attack Theatre will present Some Assembly Required, a theatre performance created around public art — in this case, three Charleston pieces. Performance dates will be June 21-22.

*West Virginia Music Hall of Fame "WV Squares" game with Peter Marshall, a West Virginia native and inductee into the W.Va. Music Hall of Fame perhaps best known for his longtime role as host of the popular game show, "Hollywood Squares."

* Art-for-ALL, a juried art show for children in kindergarten through sixth grades in six area counties that will be displayed at the Clay Center during FestivALL.

* Appalachian Festival of Young Voices, organized by Selina Midkiff of the Appalachian Children's Chorus and featuring youth choruses from across the country. The concert takes place Monday, June 30 as FestivALL will extend for one day to include this event.

* The St. George Orthodox Cathedral Religious Icon Festival, featuring beautifully rendered artwork from around the world.

Other new events will continue to be announced as they are confirmed. FestivALL also for the first time will offer a special package to ticketed events that includes FestivALT, The Mayor's Concert, Wine & All That Jazz and Blues, Brews & BBQ for $100.

Savannah Lowery of the NYC Ballet

Popular main events include:

* The Mayor’s Concert featuring Aaron Neville at the Clay Center, June 26

* Blues, Brews & BBQ with headliner Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, The Nighthawks and Samantha Fish on June 27 at the University of Charleston.

* Wine & All That Jazz with headliner Red Baraat making a return, this time to perform with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band on June 28 at the University of Charleston.

*Compagnia TPO’s Bleu, a multi-media production with dancer/actors presenting an innovative look at the Mediterranean Ocean that includes participation by young audience members

* Smoke on the Water Chili Cook Off, scheduled for June 21 on Kanawha Boulevard at Haddad Riverfront Park. June 26-28 at the Walker Theater of the Clay Center.

* The Dance Gala: featuring Savannah Lowery and Zachary Catazaro, soloists with New York City Ballet; Claire Von Enck, corps de ballet member of New York City Ballet; and local groups The Charleston Ballet and The River City Youth Ballet Ensemble. June 25 at the Culture Center Theater

* Charleston Light Opera Guild's presentation of the musical Catch Me If You Can, based on the 2002 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, which in turn was based on the 1980 biography of con artist Frank Abagnale Jr. Show dates are June 20-22 and June 27-29.

* Taste-Of-ALL Charleston, featuring foods from area restaurants and caterers, scheduled for June 22 at the Charleston Civic Center.

* West Virginia Public Radio's Mountain Stage, hosted by Larry Groce, with a live show June 29 featuring St. Paul and The Broken Bones and more.

For more information, visit