It's Memorial Day Weekend time to honor and salute those who have died for our Freedom and to gather those who are living and our American spirit for chilling and grilling.
Here's a look at just a few of the Memorial Day weekend happenings ...
All-American Roots Fest Features 22 Acts In Huntington
An all-American holiday gets an all-American roots music fest as the third annual Jewel City Jam - #JCJAM3 – rolls 22 national and regional roots music acts Friday and Saturday, May 26-27 at Harris Riverfront Park, Huntington on two stages.
Music starts at 2 p.m. each day with a full stream of fresh country, bluegrass and blues from such acts as Larry Keel, Blind Boy Paxton, Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band, Woody Pines, Suitcase Junket, Strung Like a Horse, Rev. Billy C. Wirtz.
At the JCJAM3 all active duty military get in free. Kids under 12
get in free. Weekend tickets are $45, or $25 per day (free camping included with ticket purchase). Enjoy local arts and crafts vendors as well as local food trucks or BYO food and coolers.
Get your tickets now at https://www.jcjam3.com/tickets and for more information, to secure a sponsorship or to buy a 10 pack of tickets at $150 for local veterans, or first responders, JCJam-master Dave Ball at 561-846-2372 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parade Time in Ironton
Get a real slice of Memorial Day Americana by heading to Ironton at 10 a.m. Monday, May 29 when they will host one of the nation's longest-running Memorial Day parades that is in ts 141st year.
This year's parade theme is "Peace Through Strength." The parade starts at 10 a.m. and consists of 12 division and more than 1,000 people in the parade with marching bands, clowns cars, dance studios, fire trucks, beauty queens, and numerous floats. The Parade route begins on Center Street and ends on 6th Street and Park Avenue. Participants make a left on 3rd Street and Center, make a left at 3rd and Quincy Street, and then make a left on 6th and Quincy Street. Participants then continue down 6th street until the end of the route at 6th Street and Park Avenue. Terry Hapney and J.B. Miller will be providing color commentary during the parade which will be streamed live on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheMemorialDayParade/
Park It At Camden Park
Over at Camden Park, they will unveil their new Aunt Dovie's Petting Zoo this weekend. Also, on Saturday you can enjoy music by Chris Bandi and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. On Sunday, it's the Steve Free Band and then on Monday, all former and active duty military get in for $1.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and then 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Remember, there's discounted Starlight tickets available after 5 p.m. every evening and the park's expanded schedule starts on Thursday, June 1 when they are open every day of the week except Monday. Visit camdenpark.com or call (304) 429-4321 for more information on special events throughout the season.
A FestivALL Preview
Get a "taste" of FestivALL this weekend as Charleston presents its second preview weekend May 26-28 with the first Live on the Levee concert of the season, Taste-of-ALL Charleston, FestivALT and Three Things: My First, My Favorite, My Future.” Kicking off at 6:30 Friday, May 26, with the Moses Auto Group Live on the Levee featuring the funk party grooves of The M.F.B. from Huntington, and the soul sounds of Nashville's DeRobert and the Half-Truths.
The Memorial Day weekend festivities continue May 27 with Taste-of-ALL Charleston, presented by Mardi Gras Casino &
Resort, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Four Points Sheraton on Kanawha Boulevard across from Haddad Riverfront Park. More
than 20 local and regional restaurants are participating. Music will be provided by Vinyl Village and Huntington's
On Saturday, Charleston will host the 4th FestivALT. Headliner is folk-rocker The David Mayfield Parade, along
with Louisiana southern rockers the Seratones and a one man band The Suitcase Junket, starting at 7:30 p.m. at Haddad
The preview weekend caps off Sunday, May 28, with Season 2, Episode 3 of "Three Things: My First, My Favorite, My
Future" at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore's John L. Dickinson Family Homeowner Education & Community Center starting at 5:30 p.m. and this episode features storyteller Bil Lepp, Angie Richardson and Hunter Walker. Visit www.festivallcharleston.com for more info.
Making Memories On Two Wheels
They will be telling stories and renewing friendships all weekend long in Grayson as it is time for Memory Days which started Wednesday and runs through Sunday around the city.
At 6 p.m. Thursday, May 25, Tim Preston, and the folks at the Grayson Gallery and Art Center are teaming up to put on a new event the Vintage Bicycle Ride and Slow Race out of Park Street. There will be prizes for children's and adult categories.
Other Memory Days fun includes Friday night Music on Main Street, the HeART in the Park Art show, a dog job, car show, live music (Friday through Sunday) and much more.
Go online at https://www.facebook.com/graysonmemorydays/ for more info.
How Does Your Garden of Glass Grow?
Come and bask in the light of many colors and uses of Blenko Glass from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 26 at their second annual Garden Party.
Come out to the family-owned glass factory, located at 9 Bill Blenko Drive (just off of U.S. 60) for an evening of live music, elegant finger foods in their“vintage” 1964 floral and glass garden. Chat or stroll about and enjoy the flowers and glass displays. At 7 p.m. there will be a Hat Parade. Two categories will be judged to offer both a first and second place prize for Best hat in the Elegant category and in the Outlandish category. A total of four uniquely handmade Blenko glass hats will be awarded as prizes.
Special glass made by Blenko for use in gardens and landscaping will be offered for sale both that evening and throughout Saturday, May 27, in the Visitor’s Center store. Lovely music, pleasant company, tasty food all in a lovely garden of glass setting.
The cost per person is $18 and is non refundable. In the event of rain the event will be held indoors. Only 80 tickets will be available. Advance registration is required. Call Blenko Glass at 304-743-9081 to insure your reservation.
Community Players Reunion
Head over to the Central City Gazebo at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 27, when there will be a reunion of Huntington's now-defunct, but long-running theater group, Community Players.
The group, which did more than 250 productions from 1967 to 1997, will be gathering up for a reunion that is free and open to the public.
Anyone interested in celebrating their history, should come over to the gazebo at 5 p.m., for a singalong with former Marshall music professor Dr. Michael Cerveris, Sr., and family and friends.
There will also be a walk over to the former location of The Abbott Theater, around dusk there will be a screening of Deb Novak's 30-minute film about the history of Community Players.
Go to http://hcpreunion.com/ for more information.
Cave In Movie at Carter Caves
What is cooler than just visiting Cascade Cave? How about a Cave-In Movie inside the largest of Carter County's 200 caves.
Head over to Cascade Caves on Sunday, as Carter Caves State Resort Park will be kicking off its Cave-In Movie Series with two showings at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Sunday, May 28 of Disney's Polynesian hit "Moana," a PG rated animation adventure comedy.
Tickets are $5 per per and are available (cash only) at Cascade Cave at 6 p.m. Bring your own chairs to see the film. Spend the weekend at Carter Caves, which also has a campground, cabins, lodge, hiking trails, putt-putt golf, a swimming pool, and a handful of caves to explore by walking, and even wild caving tours.
Call 606-286-4411 or go online at http://parks.ky.gov/parks/resortparks/carter-caves/
School's Out, Time to Splash Down
School is out and it's prime time for splashing down at an area pool.
In the city, A.D. Lewis Pool is free and open Wednesdays through Sundays. Over in Kenova, Dreamland Pool is open for its 91st season. It is open seven days a week and this year will be serving Austin's Ice Cream this summer.
Just north of Huntington, the YMCA Glenbrier Pool at the Kennedy Center is open with single day admission $6 for folks who do not have a Y membership.
Just south of the city, Beech Fork Lake, as a swimming area (on the Lavalette side or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers side), that is open seven days a week. It is $1 or $5 per car, while Beech Fork State Park has its swimming pool open now through Labor Day as well. Admission is $5 for adults.
Go online at www.herald-dispatch.com and search swimming pools to see our full seasonal list of beaches, pools and spraygrounds.
The Dark Star Jubilee
The Dark Star returns to Legend Valley on Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-26.
Party like it's 1967 and the summer of love this weekend as The Dark Star Jubilee celebrates the music and spirit of The Grateful Dead, with three nights of Dark Star Orchestra, plus two Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart Band & Donna Jean Godchaux Band, Yonder Mountain String Band at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio, just 30 minutes east of Columbus. Other artists confirmed include Yonder Mountain String Band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, The Wailers, The New Orleans Suspects featuring Paul Barrere & Fred Tackett of Little Feat, local favorites The Werks, Greensky Bluegrass, John Brown’s Body, Marco Benevento, Elephant Revival, The Pimps of Joytime, Rumpke Mountain Boys, BigEaR, The Folkadelics, The Ark Band, Matt Reynolds with additional artists still to be announced. Festival attendees ages three and under are free while youth above age 13 must have a full price festival pass. Gates open at noon Friday, May 24. Complete ticket options with pricing are available at www.darkstarjubilee.com.
My Road-Trip Pick: My road-trip pick this weekend is to Cincinnati where the Cincinnati Museum Center is hosting the new exhibit, "Star Wars the Power of Costume," that features 60 of the finest hand-crafted costumes from the first seven Star Wars
films. Featured Monk-like robes of Jedi masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker, the intimidating suit and complex breathing apparatus of Darth Vader and many more.
The exhibit opens May 25 and costs $24 or $16 for children and for members, $17 adults and $12 for children.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.cincymuseum.org/star-wars or call (513) 287-7001.
For competitive eating fans, some of the top-ranked competitive eaters in the world will converge on West Virginia’s Three Rivers Festival for the seventh annual West Virginia Three Rivers Festival Pepperoni Roll Eating World Championship at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 27 at Palatine Park in Downtown Fairmont, W.Va.
Sanctioned by Major League Eating, the 10-minute, all-you-can-eat competition will have the best eaters in the world battling for their share of a $5,000 in cash prizes.
Palatine Park in Fairmont is near the point where the Tygart, the West Fork and the Monongahela rivers meet. The 37th annual event provides fun, food, entertainment and activities for the entire family. For more information, visit www.wvthreeriversfestival.org.
Dave Lavender is the author of "Dave Trippin: A Daytripper's Guide to the Appalachian Galaxy of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia" and his new travel book, "Mo' Dave Trippin" now for sale on Amazon.com and through CreateSpace.
Check out the new book at the Red Caboose, Empire Books and News, and now at Camden Park. Lavender covers regional travel. Follow The Herald-Dispatch reporter on Facebook and Twitter @DaveLavenderHD.