Blues Traveler
Blues Traveler is headlining the 31st annual Lancaster Festival, scheduled for July 23-Aug. 1.

Lancaster Festival to Celebrate Music, Arts

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The 31st annual Lancaster Festival, central Ohio’s summer salute to the arts, launches Thursday, July 23, featuring 10 days of concerts, musicals, family activities, an art walk and more.

Here are some highlights of this year’s festival:

Opening Night Concert with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra (July 23, St. Mary Church, 8 p.m.)

Made up of professional musicians from around the United States and the world, this ensemble is a fixture of the festival. Under the leadership of Maestro Gary Sheldon, the Lancaster Festival Orchestra performs pops and classical repertoire at a world-class level.

Gary Sheldon, Lancaster Festival Orchestra

ArtWalk 2015 (July 24, Downtown Lancaster, 6-9 p.m.)

Thousands will visit Lancaster businesses to experience art, meet the artists and purchase original works. All media types will be represented. Work will remain on display through Aug. 1.

Festival Fair Day and OUL Concert (July 25, Fairfield County Fairgrounds, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

A day of fun and entertainment at the fairgrounds, including inflatables and laser tag, and music from The Rainforest, The Adelphi Band, and Arnett Howard & Friends.

Thompson Square with Mo Pitney (July 25, Wendel Concert Stage, Ohio University Lancaster, 8:15 p.m.)

Country duo Thompson Square have topped radio charts across the U.S., Canada and Australia with #1 hits “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” “If I Didn’t Have You” and “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About.” The pair will be joined by up-and-coming singer-songwriter Mo Pitney, who will open the show.

Thompson Square  (Traver Rains)
Thompson Square (Traver Rains)

Ohio University Lancaster Theatre’s West Side Story (July 26, Wagner Theatre, Ohio University Lancaster, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.)

See the premiere of OU-Lancaster’s production of the Broadway classic West Side Story, directed by Victor A. Jones and choreographed by Tonya Kraner.

The Police Experience with The Gearheads (July 29, Wendel Concert Stage, Ohio University Lancaster, 7:30 p.m.)

The internationally known Police tribute act will be joined by Lancaster cover band The Gearheads.

Marshall Crenshaw with Angela Perley (July 31, Campus Stage, Ohio University Lancaster, 8 p.m.)

Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter (“Someday, Someway”) will perform songs from his 35-year career. Columbus-based Angela Perley and her band The Howlin’ Moons will open.

Marshall Crenshaw (Lisa Tanner Photography)
Marshall Crenshaw (Lisa Tanner Photography)

Festival 5K and Grand Prix (Aug. 1, Fountain Square, 8:30 a.m.)

Participants, spectators and volunteers will congregate in Lancaster’s historic downtown area for the race, food and family fun.

Blues Traveler (Wendel Concert Stage, Ohio University Lancaster, 8:15 p.m.)

Platinum-selling Blues Traveler, best known for their 1994 hit “Run-Around,” will rock the festival audience with old favorites and songs from their new album, Blow Up the Moon.

For tickets, artist information and a complete schedule, visit For regular updates, check the festival’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.