HUNTINGTON — The effort in recent years to up Huntington's game as far as music, culture and arts activities has been impressive. One event that has helped to make that happen is about to celebrate its 10th year, and that is the Huntington Music and Arts Festival.
The main day for the Huntington Music and Arts Festival will be Saturday, Aug. 31, when Ritter Park Amphitheater comes alive with the best in Tri-State culture. Featuring 25 musicians and bands performing from noon until 10 p.m., along with artists showing their work and a whole lot more being offered, this will be a great reason to get out of the house and dive headlong into a thriving scene.
Organizers have also put together a whole week's worth of activities leading up to Saturday that are free. It is billed as the Huntington Music and Arts Festival Week (HMAF Week), and it will begin Monday, Aug. 26.
Below is a guide to all things HMAF Week:
n On Monday, Aug. 26, the HMAF 72-Hour Film Screening begins at 6:30 p.m. and lasts until 9 p.m. For this unique event, local filmmakers were asked to create a new, five-minute-long movie within a specified 72-hour period. The result is 17 freshly made flicks that will be sure to entertain. This will be a free event taking place at Marquee Cinemas in Pullman Square.
n On Tuesday, Aug. 27, the Huntington Museum of Art will host the Art On The Edge production featuring the works of Jimbo Valentine and comedian Tony Moore from 6 to 9 p.m. Many other art vendors and food vendors will be on hand to add to the fun. The Huntington Museum of Art is located at 2033 McCoy Road.
Later on Tuesday night, The Lantern will host the official HMAF Open Mic Night, followed by a set from the band Dinosaur Burps. The Lantern is located at 817 4th St. and the free music begins at 9 p.m.
n Central City Antique District will be ground zero on Wednesday, Aug. 28, for another free event from 6 to 9 p.m. Performing will be Big Rock and the Candyass Mountain Boys as well as line dancing performances and lessons provided by HotDam.
Wednesday will also include the HMAF Comedy Night at Black Sheep Burrito and Brews from 9 to 11 p.m. The comedians scheduled to perform include Cody Cannon, Hilary Brewster, Ryan Clagg, Paige Looney, Nate Cesco, Cody Lambert, Emily Murray, Chris Shanklin and Ian Lutz. Black Sheep Burrito and Brews is located at 279 9th St.
n Thursday, Aug. 29, will feature Arts Night Out - HMAF Edition happening at Heritage Station from 6 to 9 p.m. A blend of artists and musicians will combine forces that evening. The live music will include performances by John R. Miller and the Engine Lights and Nic Allen and the Troubled Minds. On the art side of things, interactive visual art displays, artisan popups and more will be found throughout the complex. Heritage Station is located at 211 11th St.
Thursday late night will mean a trip to Roll-A-Rama for some good times from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. That is when the free Roller Boogie HMAF Pre-Party happens with music by Grown Ass Folks and a call for some disco/funk costumes by those who show up ready to rock. Roll-A-Rama is located at 137 7th Ave.
n On Friday, Aug. 30, the official HMAF Party comes to Pullman Square. There, southern rockers Ducain will take the stage along with the Gallipolis, Ohio, band Maggie. The free concert takes place from 6 to 9 p.m.
That is only the beginning of the live music on Friday night, however, as the free HMAF Downtown Getdown happens from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. A venue crawl in the making, the fluid and mobile event will include The Peddler featuring the music of Glass Diaper, the Summit Beer Station will host Jonathan Craig Bassin, Hank's brings Mike Campbell to the stage, The Marigold will host Feverwar and the Huntington Ale House will provide a double bill with Cutler Station and Flat Tracker. All shows are free.
This Jewel City flare-up of live music and art will culminate with the all-day main event at the Ritter Park Amphitheater on Saturday. Tickets for the festival are $15 for the pre-sale, $20 on the day of the show and kids 12 and under are free. More information can be found at hmafestival.com.