Spring is so beautiful in Charleston and May is definitely the best part of the season! The trees and flowers are beginning to bloom. “Live on the Levee” and the “Vandalia Gathering” return. This year, there is even more good news to celebrate this month! The main branch of the Kanawha County Public Library reopens after its $32 million renovation, with a café, Tool Library, and expanded children’s activities. Charleston even has a new park, the “City Center at Slack Plaza”. The park features a stage, a splash pad for kids, sculptures, and soon to be planted greenery. It is a lovely addition to the middle of town.
In addition to the free entertainment that Live on the Levee and the Vandalia gathering provide, there are several exciting events at the usual venues- the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center (the CC&CC), Clay Center, Municipal Auditorium, and two Mountain Stage concerts at the WV Cultural Center. Michael Bolton will appear with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra at the Clay Center and the popular Christian band, Casting Crowns, will perform along with Hillside Worship at the CC&CC.
FestivALL drops a new event this month at the Capitol Market. The Summer Art Fair will debut May 7-8. Handmade works of art will be available for purchase this weekend and another in June.
May is also the month we celebrate Mother’s Day and most high-school and college graduations. We have many wonderful local restaurants with an interesting array of cuisine, there is something for everyone. Several of the restaurants offer dining “al fresco” letting us enjoy the great weather and breeze off the Kanawha River.
Speaking of the Kanawha River, HUGE news for Charleston is the return of the Sternwheel Regatta, beginning the end of June. Also coming in June on Coal River, another Kanawha Valley event you do NOT want to miss is the “Tour de Coal”. This popular activity is a 12-mile kayak trip beginning at Meadowood Park and finishing at St. Albans. It is a “float”, not a “race”. It is nation’s largest Flatwater Kayak Community Event and the primary fundraiser for the Coal River Group’s river restoration efforts.
No doubt about it, there is a LOT of fun to be had this month in Charleston!