CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kool and the Gang, Kathy Mattea and Marcia Ball are among the entertainers coming to this June's FestivALL celebration in Charleston.
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones and FestivALL Executive Director Larry Groce gave an overview of the eighth annual event Monday morning at the Culture Center.
Jones and Groce said this year's FestivALL, scheduled for June 21-30, would probably see larger crowds and some bigger events thanks to a partnership with the West Virginia Sesquicentennial Committee to help celebrate the state's 150th birthday.
"There are going to be a lot of people coming up this way for that," Jones said. "We think it will enhance our event that much more."
Groce said the cooperative effort between the city and the state would show itself in several ways. The Smoke on the Water Chili Cook-Off would be moved up Kanawha Boulevard from Haddad Riverfront Park to the front of the Capitol, and will run later.
"We'll have music all day and after the contest finishes up in the afternoon," Groce said.
FestivALL's downtown art parade will be moved from its usual route along Capitol Street to Kanawha Boulevard. It will also include participants related to the sesquicentennial celebration.
"We see it as being much bigger and representing more of the state," Groce said.
Groce promised that the 10-day festival would feature "130 events and 350 performances."
Some of the musical highlights include Cross Lanes native Mattea, who will perform a free Live on the Levee concert at Haddad Riverfront Park on June 21; the annual Mayor's Concert at the Clay Center on June 27 with R&B and soul stars Kool and the Gang; and blues singer and pianist Marcia Ball at Blues, Brews and BBQ on the University of Charleston riverbank lawn on June 28.