Huntington is the place to be this summer
By Tony Rutherford
Huntington Mayor Steve Williams has another community challenge – he would like for fairs and festivals to be weekly attractions.
The city has strongly supported summer events on the riverbank and elsewhere.
Many remember coming together at the Tri State Fair and Regatta, to which the power boat race component has returned.
Huntington’s “season” of musical (and other) celebrations begins with the initial “Jewel City Jamboree,” which runs June 5-7 at Harris Riverfront Park. Semi-retired musician (1937 Flood), retired firefighter, and current city councilman David Ball has orchestrated the new venture as a substitute for the Appalachian Uprising, which ran 13 years on the Ohio side of the river at Scottstown, Ohio.
“We hope to capture some of that audience,” Ball said, explaining that the Uprising took place the same weekend in May. As part of his campaign, he emphasized “the need to utilize the Riverfront and develop that side of the floodwall.” Mayor Williams has expressed a nautical and boardwalk vision for Harris Riverfront Park , including an upgraded amphitheater, subject to public/private investment and a thumbs up from the Corps of Engineers.
Jewel City’s top acts are The Boxcars, The Band of Ruhks, Larry Cordle (just inducted into Kentucky Music Hall of Fame) and Lonesome Standard Time, the Bing Brothers, and Amanda Smith, reigning Female Vocalist of the Year.
Festival tickets are $65 and include admission to the Heritage Farm Music Festival.
“We hope Jewel City grows into an economic catalyst as a week-long event with clinics and other venues throughout Huntington culminating with the major riverfront event,” Ball said.
Food, drink and other vendors will participate. Beer will be available in the VIP area.
For full details visit, www.jewelcityjamboree.com
On Thursday nights from May 28 through August beginning at 7 p.m. , the Pullman Square stage features some of the region’s best groups with free admission sponsored primarily by 93.7 the DAWG .
Every third Thursday in June, July and August, select Pullman merchants such as Empire Books, Pizza Uno, Pottery Place and Game Stop participate from 5-8 p.m. in the Huntington Artwalk. Artists consist of photographers, fine art, comic book graphic art, cosplayers, crafts and other local creators.
June 4Kala DeHart & RiverTown
June 11Deadbeats and Barkers/William Matheny
June 18*Black King Coal
June 25Oakwood Road Band
July 9She & I
July 23City Heat
July 30The Recipe
Aug. 6One Foot
Aug. 13Deni Bonet
Aug. 20*Carpenter Ants
Aug. 27Larry Whitt & Blue Eyed Soul Thundering Herd Rally
PARTY ON THE PATIO
Enjoy music at Heritage Station beginning at 7 p.m. as part of the Party on the Patio which serves a variety of beers on top (including favorite regional craft beers) along with ice cold soft drinks.
June 19Oakwood Road Band
July 17Larry Whitt & Blue Eyed Soul
Aug. 21C&S Railroad” at 7pm to kick off the Diamond Teeth Mary Blues Festival.
CENTRAL CITY DAYS
Known as the Antique Capital of the Tri State (Ohio, Kentucky, and WV), the festival runs June 19-21. You can enjoy shopping at nearby museums, antique displays, classic comic and old toy memorabilia, outdoor antique displays, crafts, good food , musical entertainment and inflatables.
NATSU NO TSUBASCON
Nerds, cosplayers and lovers of fantasy come together June 27 from noon to 4 p.m. in Ritter Park for the free annual Natsu No Tsubascon picnic. It’s a laid back preview to the October 9-11 convention at Big Sandy Arena. Fan boys and gals gather at the park for food, beverage, costume contests, picture taking and networking.
93.7 DAWG DAZZLE 2015
The region’s July 3 Independence Day celebration at Harris Riverfront features country music singer/songwriter, Eric Paslay, along with an ultimate fireworks display. Paslay released his first album, “She Don’t Love You,” in May which includes “Song About a Girl” and “Friday Night.”
Additional June, July and August festivals include:
July 8-12, Heritage Harley Owners Group Rally where you can drag race your bike, enjoy watching and attend parties. Visit, www.wvstatehogrally.com
July 24-26, Huntington Powerboat Racing and Championship, the American Power Boat Association’s “superbowl”‘ for the North American championship. “Our Regatta along the mighty Ohio River has gained the reputation as a premiere venue for the sport,” said an excited Mayor Steve Williams.
July 25, Hot Dog Festival which features contests, live entertainment, a car show, weiner dog race, and as many awesome hot dogs as you can eat… all in one place
Aug 1, Way Back Weekend at Heritage Farm hosts a Hatfield & McCoy Reunion for those who produced and participated in the Discovery Channel’s “America’s Greatest Feud.” Wagon rides, tours, petting zoos, and museum tours in an 1800s village venue, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Aug. 15, Rails and Ales Craft Beer Festival, 1-6 p.m. at Harris Riverfront Park with tickets going on sale June 1 @ 6 p.m. VIP Ticketholders enter at noon.
Aug. 29, Power Up Retro Video Game Convention, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Big Sandy Superstore Arena, $5. Game boys unite to buy , sell and trade games.
Sept. 12, Chili Fest at Pullman Square, the 32nd anniversary event features a championship cook off, children’s games, and music.
Finally, while these are musical and entertainment oriented festivals, the city also has an array of 5K, bike races, outdoor theatre and other events often running in concurrence with the aforementioned festivals. Visit, www.wvvisit.org/calendar/view/2015. For family friendly Tuesday/Wednesday free morning movie fun Marquee Pullman has selected showings at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday & Wednesday, June 9-July 29.