Music, art and fireworks are in store the last weekend in April when the annual Panoply Arts Festival returns to Big Spring International Park in downtown Huntsville. The popular event offers three days of music from more than 30 regional bands, over 100 local and national visual artists representing 16 states, and two nights of fireworks.
Panoply kicks off at 5 p.m. on Friday and during the three-day event, over 50 musical performances will take to three different stages. Slated to perform on Friday evening include Huntsville’s GoodVibeNation, local favorite Unknown Lyric and Nashville’s Humming House. On Saturday, the festival highlights Huntsville’s own, with performances by local favorites as well as performers new to the festival. North Alabama’s own Secret Sisters return to Panoply Arts Festival and lend their soulful harmonies as the opening act ahead of Saturday’s headlining performance. Grammy Award-winning Blind Boys of Alabama will close out Saturday night. On Sunday, festivalgoers can enjoy back-to-back performances by Mambo Gris Gris, Amy McCarley and Microwave Dave and the Nukes on the Showcase Stage.
As music fills the air, regional artists offer demonstrations of their crafts at Panoply’s Arts in Action tents, where festivalgoers can get a first-hand look at the process of painting, pottery, broom-making, and basket-weaving. The juried Art Marketplace, one of the most popular features of the festival, showcases the works of 102 artists from 16 states. All artwork is available for purchase.
Another favorite among festivalgoers are the many hands-on activities that take place throughout the weekend. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) interactives give festivalgoers of all ages the chance to discover scientific lessons through art and get in touch with their creative side.
Friday and Saturday evenings conclude with a spectacular fireworks display. Festival patrons are encouraged to bring chairs and picnic blankets, and along with an array of art and music, there will be craft beer from breweries located across North Alabama and festival food from food trucks and vendors.
Arts Huntsville offers a Panoply weekend pass available online in advance for just $18. Day passes are $10 and can be purchased in advance online or at the event. check out artshuntsville.org. Children 12 and under are free of charge. Festival hours are 5-9 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, ; and noon-7 p.m. on Sunday.