Tuesday, June 7, 2011

City to Kickoff 55th Annual Festival of the Arts June 10

Mayor Dwight C. Jones and the City of Richmond will kick off the 55th annual Festival of the Arts on Friday, June 10, at 8 p.m. on the Dogwood Dell stage with the Upper East Side Big Band. The festival features 30 evenings of outdoor family entertainment at Dogwood Dell throughout out the summer that are free to attend.
Highlighting the annual festival will be the city’s Fourth of July Celebration at the Dell. This year, beginning at 4 p.m., it will feature local hip hop group Kids in Da Biz, jazz by Sharon North, a concert on the Carillon bells, and rousing patriotic music by the Richmond Concert Band concluding with a fireworks extravaganza.

Other highlights of the annual summer festival include a Gospel Music Fest on Sunday, July 10, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., a Latin Jazz and Salsa Festival on Saturday, July 23, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a special tribute to local musician Page Wilson on Sunday, July 17, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. that will feature Terry Garland and Lil’ Ronnie, Wilson’s band Reckless Abandon, and the Janet Martin Band performing rock, blues and Americana music.
In addition to the wide variety of musical entertainment, the festival brings dance, movies, and theater to the Dell, as well as an entire lineup of morning and afternoon entertainment especially for young audiences on the Ha’Penny Stage, which is adjacent to the Dell.
Families are encouraged to bring picnics and blankets to performances, however no alcohol or pets are allowed. The outdoor amphitheatre is located in Byrd Park at 1300 Blanton Avenue, just north of the Boulevard Bridge.
The Festival of the Arts is produced by the Cultural Arts Division of Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. The complete schedule of programs can be downloaded from the main page of the city’s website at www.richmondgov.com.