Charleston’s FestivALL to kick-off Friday

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The City of Charleston’s 19th annual FestivALL is now just two days away and the entire lineup of art, music, dance and cultural programming throughout the ten day event is still in place.

The festival begins this Friday, June 9 and will go through until Sunday, June 18. FestivALL Executive Director, Mackenzie Spencer said to check the event website, as it serves as a one-stop-shop for everything festival-goers will need to know.

Children’s Art Fair

“You’ll be able to find minute-to-minute updates if there are any changes when it comes to programming and things like that, and you’ll also be able to plan out your entire schedule from there,” Spencer said. “There are paper brochures all over town, but is where you will be able to get the latest all the time.”

While some events that have already been going on such as the Art-for-ALL Kids Exhibition at the Clay Center and Live on the Levee at Haddad Riverfront Park kick-off the festival Friday, some new ones also fill up Friday evening’s schedule. These events include an organ recital with Dr. Kristina Rizzotto at First Presbyterian Church at 7 p.m., and Charleston Light Opera Guild’s production of Little Shop of Horrors at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re really excited to be out with people and to share all of things we’ve been planning, and really be able to showcase our city and our very vibrant art scene here,” Spencer told MetroNews.

Spencer said 2019 was the last fully in-person and normal FestivALL until this year, as the last three years have been adjusting to Covid, holding virtual events, and facing challenges with program booking. However, she said it feels good to make a return to full, pre-pandemic normalcy and a comeback to tradition.

“We are almost breathing a sigh of relief, I think, that we’re able to be able to do something that feels normal, and that we’ll be able to have our community, our friends, our neighbors come out together and be able to celebrate again, and be able to come to this programming that people have really truly loved for the past 19 years,” she said.

Over 70 events fill up the schedule during the ten day festival, including the Sunrise Carriage Trail Walk, the Mayor’s Concert, Mountain Stage, and the two-day Capitol Street Art Fair and Children’s Art Fair.

Spencer said the art fair, which rounds out the festival on June 17 and 18 has always been one of the most anticipated aspects of FestivALL as it features a variety of art and culture around the area, with close to 70 artisans that take part in that event alone.

However, she said the entire festival in itself is a testament to how much culture and talent comprises the area.

“It really does expand to so many things that are considered art, and we’re super happy to be able to facilitate that and really bring all of that to the capitol city,” Spencer said.

Some new events as part of FestivALL this year include, An Evening with Hannah Jane featuring Broadway favorites at the Clay Center’s Walker Theater, Dance FestivALL featuring Morgantown native Alicia Mae Holloway of Dance Theater of Harlem, and Shakepearoke with the Rustic Mechanicals at Short Story Brewing.

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