The Summer Arts Festival 2008, a joint effort by Virginia Tech School of the Arts and the Town of Blacksburg, is celebrating its 17th year bringing the joy of the arts to Blacksburg summers.

The festival's events, beginning May 30 and ending in late August, are completely free and provide New River Valley residents; tourists; and Virginia Tech faculty, staff, students, and conference attendees with a wide array of arts attractions.

The tremendously popular "Friday Night Out" concerts will continue in 2008 with a temporary move from Henderson Hall Lawn to Shultz Dining Hall Lawn because of the Henderson Hall refurbishing and Department of Theatre Arts' new Experimental Theatre construction projects.

The new location is conveniently located just 100 yards away from Henderson Hall Lawn across University Mall Avenue that runs between Henderson Hall and Shultz Dining Hall and it is adjacent to free parking in the Shultz Dining Hall parking lot. The rain site will be the Old Dominion Ballroom in Squires Student Center located on University Mall Avenue next to Henderson Hall.

Concerts start at 6 p.m. and are scheduled as follows:

  • The PanJammers, a steel drum orchestra, on May 30;
  • County Connection, a Bluegrass music band, on June 6;
  • Gerry Timlin, Irish, Canadian, American and Australian folk music, on June 13;
  • Barbara Martin Trio, a jazz and blues combo, on June 20;
  • Key West Band, Caribbean music, on June 27;
  • Simple Gifts of the Blue Ridge, traditional folk music, on July 11;
  • Dixie Power Trio, a Dixieland jazz combo, on July 18; and
  • excerpts from Summer Musical Enterprise's production of Anything Goes on July 25.

Summer Arts Festival 2008 events also include three Virginia Tech Department of Theatre Arts productions:

  • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, a children's play;
  • The Gin Game, a play for mature audiences;
  • and Mountains are a Feeling, a family friendly play.

Also included in the festival will be gallery exhibitions at the Perspective Gallery and the Armory Art Gallery, an Independence Day Celebration sponsored by the Town of Blacksburg, the Steppin' Out Street Festival sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association, and for the first time ever, free classic movies at The Lyric Theatre.

From taking the kids to see a children's theatre performance and watching classic movies such as Lawrence of Arabia, to enjoying a breezy summer evening swaying to the music of a Jimmy Buffet cover band, the festival has a little something for everyone.

  • For a complete listing of all events, visit the Summer Arts Festival online.
  • For more information on the Summer Arts Festival and the many events it offers, call Jane Harrison at (540) 231-5921.

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