FestivALL: The Event That Calls Us Back Home
This month marks my first full year back in Charleston, W.Va., since I was 18 years old. I went to college only returning for holidays and a month or so out of each summer, and from there I found myself in Colorado. I fell in love with Colorado…it felt right. But even with all of the world-class skiing and hiking and adventuring, something was missing.
So when the Rocky Mountains began to thaw, I made a slow trek back home to the Mountain State. I returned to intern with FestivALL for a second year, and found that missing piece of adventure I was looking for - passion. The passion to inspire and to cultivate the existing wonders in a place where it is often overlooked.
FestivALL is one outlet for ALL to promote and advance their passions; through volunteer work, education, music, visual art, theater, dance and much more. The community comes together and puts on an ALL-encompassing arts festival that has grown from three days to 10. Within this growth, FestivALL has added a fall celebration, and new to this year, a FestivALL Preview Weekend that will complement the Vandalia Gathering.
After being heavily involved for the past few years, I may be a bit biased, but this celebration is going to be awesome! In addition to the normal June celebration, May 27-29 will give a warm welcome home to past residents of Charleston, and to visitors looking for a whole lotta fun.
Here are a few reasons why you should attend FestivALL’s Preview Weekend:
Live on the Levee, May 27, 6:30 pm: The free Friday night summer concert series will kick off the weekend with a night of music from local favorites. The Hybrid Soul Project will play the first set of the summer, followed by Charleston legend, The Bob Thompson Band.
Taste-of-ALL Charleston, May 28, 11 am: A delicious 30-year tradition of Charleston’s best restaurants will start anew at Four Points by Sheraton. The reimagined event will welcome you and yours to Haddad Riverfront Park to sample dishes from over 20 local and regional restaurants, with the addition of beer and wine, music by Vinyl Village, and a make-and-take art/kids zone.
FestivALT, May 28, 7 pm: A free concert at the Schoenbaum Stage with jam-grass legend Keller Williams, and alt-folk group Lindsey Lou & the Flatbellys.
The Moth, May 29, 7:30 pm: Enjoy the wonders of live storytelling at the Clay Center. The popular podcast and Public Radio show will have you laughing, crying and everything in between.
Vandalia Gathering: The traditional gathering of all things wild and wonderful. A celebration of West Virginia food, dance, music and more on the state Capitol grounds.
Even if your love for West Virginia or FestivALL isn’t strong enough to inspire you to move back, choose to visit your hip historic home that nurtures ALL that is wild and wonderful and continues to grow as a mecca for art, entertainment, and extreme mountain adventure.
By: Mallory Richards
Assistant to Director