From block party fun at Downtown Streetfest to hole-in-one excitement at Downtown Open, there is plenty to see and experience throughout the warm weather months in downtown Charleston.
The Charleston Area Alliance community-based events return this summer with Downtown Streetfest, the Brown Bag Concert Series, the Go to Hale Block Party and the pop-up miniature golf course Downtown Open.
“Through our wide-range of free events, we aim to make a more sustainable downtown with thoughtful and innovative programming that enlivens the area’s public places,” said Susie Salisbury, vice president of community development. “From Streetfest to our Brown Bag Concerts, the events are community-driven and helps reimagine everyday spaces to see the potential of parks and streets throughout downtown.”
Presented by City National Bank, Downtown Streetfest returns 4:30 – 9 p.m. Saturday, May 20; Saturday, July 24; Saturday, Aug. 26 and Saturday, Sept. 23 along Capitol Street. The first three block parties will be set between Quarrier and Lee Streets, while the fourth block party will be between Kanawha Boulevard and Virginia Street. In its third season, Downtown Streetfest fills the street with live music and entertainment, pop-up public art, kid’s games and activities for all ages. Attendees can enjoy giant games of chess and Jenga, challenge friends in a game of cornhole, enjoy local bites to eat, listen to live music and lounge with a cold brew.
Beyond creating a vibrant gathering spot in the middle of downtown, Downtown Streetfest generates revenue for local businesses. Restaurants along Capitol Street have reported a 30 to 60 percent increase in sales during Downtown Streetfest.
Back again, is the Brown Bag Concert Series in Davis Park, located between Capitol and Summers Street downtown. With sponsorship support from American Medical Facilities Management (AMFM), the free lunchtimes concerts are on the third Wednesday of each month May through October. Charlestonians can leave the office and enjoy live entertainment and an assortment of downtown lunch specials. The Alliance brings Davis Park a slate of exciting and dynamic local musicians through a partnership with the American Federation of Musicians Local 136.
The Brown Bag Concerts get people away from their desk at the lunch hour and shines a spotlight on greenspace downtown. The event also boosts downtown restaurant traffic highlighting an array of brown bag takeaway specials offered by Alliance member businesses.
Presented by Brewer & Company of West Virginia, the Go to Hale block party returns for its second year Saturday, June 24. Local artists pack the lineup of this all-day music festival, which features craft beers and outdoor activities along Hale Street. The event will also include the inaugural Good Grand Prix, an anything that rolls race presented by Good News Mountaineer Garage and Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley. Four-person teams riding anything – from big wheels to wagons – compete in relay heats are awarded for fastest time, best vehicle décor and top T-shirt design. Go to Hale compliments the FestivALL Capitol Street Air Fair occurring the same day.
The Alliance will once again transform downtown sidewalks into a putt-putt course with Downtown Open Saturday, June 24 – Saturday, July 8. Each of the 20 miniature golf holes are sponsored and customized by an Alliance member business, resulting in a unique, one-of-a-kind putt-putt course. The event gives locals and visitors alike a reason to explore downtown, showcases small businesses and regional companies and provides free entertainment to families and friends. Putt-putt players can bringing their own putters and balls from home or borrow golf gear from local businesses.