- April 28 - 30, 2023
- Celebrating 41 years of great music, food, & art in Big Spring Park!
Since its first year, in 1982, a central focus of the Panoply Arts Festival has been to spark the imaginations of kids and kids-at-heart. While the festival has grown over the decades to include more live music and more visual artists, Panoply Arts Festival is still a place where families are invited to tap into their creativity and get inspired together. Here’s what’s in store at this year’s Panoply Arts Festival April 28 – April 30, 2023!
Panoply Festival Kicks Off on Friday
Friday evening is opening night, and the Panoply tradition of Military Salute Night continues! All active-duty military and Armed Forces reserves, along with their dependents, are welcomed to the park for a FREE evening of entertainment. Live music (see schedule below), tasty food, and good company are the perfect way to celebrate the 41st anniversary of Huntsville’s longest-running festival.
Panoply’s Friday night closes with a celebratory fireworks display!
Activities on Saturday & Sunday
STEAM Street celebrates our community’s innovative spirit by bringing together the principles of science, technology, engineering, ART, and math. STEAM Street will feature everything from Kaleidoscopes to space images.
- Huntsville City Schools Magnet Programs ‘ Kinetic Kaleidoscopes!’ presented by Intrepid – Make a kaleidoscope and learn about light and how it travels.
- Huntsville Ballet’s ‘Science of Soaring Sauté’ presented by KBR – Learn the physics of a Sauté through demonstrations, practicing jumps and creating a take-home Soaring Sauté Dancer.
- Creative Launchpad’s “Circuit Board Dance Challenge” presented by Hexagon – Make a simple circuit and learn how electricity is conducted as festivalgoers make a DIY dance pad.
- National Space Club’s “The Art of the Universe” STEAM Exhibit featuring recent images from Marshall Space Flight Center missions.
Creativity Corner will offer takeaway art activities for kids and families to create at the festival.
- Block Printing’ presented by Parkway Place Mall – Learn a simple printing technique using foam, paper, and paint.
- ‘Mixed Media Monsters’ presented by Huntsville Hospital’s Women and Children – Festivalgoers will piece together a monster and create its world using a vast array of materials.
- ‘Pointillism’– Learn about pointillism and recreate works using this technique from the pioneers of Pointillism, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac.
- ‘Haiku Art’– Create a traditional Japanese haiku using nature as inspiration and add a unique illustration using watercolors.
- Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guilds ‘Discover Music – The Symphony Guild’s popular musical experience introduces young people to musical instruments.
New & Returning Activities for 2023
Crowd favorites are making a return this year!
- Your kids will be overjoyed… The Panoply Face Painting Tent is back!
- The Student Art Tent returns to Panoply in Big Spring Park East to showcase budding talent across the community. The popular tent will feature artwork from students of all ages that attend public and private schools across Madison County.
- The popular Craft Beer Tent returns for grownups that like the option of a libation.
- This year Panoply will be bringing back Art OutLoud Stage that will provide an outlet for spoken word performances from local literary figures, poets, authors and comedians.
- UNITY Community Art Project returns – Festivalgoers of all ages will stretch their creative muscles again with a hands-on large-scale community art activity, “UNITY.” It has been six years since “UNITY” premiered at Panoply. “UNITY” is a larger-than-life structure that helps us celebrate our uniqueness and strengthens our ties to each other. Nancy Belmont created “UNITY,” an interactive public art project, to raise consciousness about the labels we give ourselves and others and to explore how those labels support and limit building interconnected, interesting communities.
More Panoply Fun
There will be over 30 musical performances in a variety of genres – jazz, rock, R&B, indie rock, blues, pop and more – performing on Panoply’s two stages: the Showcase Stage and the Indie Stage.
Pro-Tip: Festival patrons are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets to sit on to enjoy the lineup of performers. Panoply is “festival seating” around the stages & performance spaces.
Friday Music Lineup: The music starts early in the evening and continues through the night on Friday. The festival kicks off with a performance from The Wanda Band, Them Damn Dogs, 3 Savile Row, Courtney Val, Common Man, & Alex Banks.
Saturday Music Lineup:
Saturday features a medley of music that starts when the gates open at 10 a.m. The festival welcomes eight regional powerhouses that are gracing the Pepsi Showcase stage for the first time. Some Saturday performers include: newly-formed Trick Zipper Trio (comprised of Aaron Stapler, Dusty French, and Billie Allen) and Karmessa, a singer-songwriter known locally for her performances with Element XI and touring nationally with Ruben Studdard. Closing out Saturday night is Huntsville’s own Rob Aldridge and the Proponents. Uncut Magazine wrote in 2022 that “Rob is an Alabama native who is finally starting to get noticed as a songwriting frontman capable of gnawing a hook and a finely weighted turn of phrase,” and NPR calls them “an Alabama rock & roll band you need to know.”
Sunday Music Lineup:
On Sunday, the Showcase Stage will kick off with The Silver Silos featuring local favorite Alan Little on drums and close out with up-and-coming 17-year-old country music singer/songwriter Jackson Chase. In between, performers Pat Jamar, Luna Koi, Remy Neal and Moontown Music will take the stage.
While the Showcase stage features local and regional bands, Panoply’s Indie Stage, located in Big Spring East, plays host to many of Huntsville’s singer/songwriters, duos, and instrumentalists such as Josh Taylor, Winslow Davis, Chelsea Who, WD Flow, Christie and Alli and one of Huntsville’s favorite husband and wife duos, Common Man.
Panoply Fireworks & Food
Friday and Saturday nights will both end with a stunning fireworks display over Big Spring Park!
Along with Panoply’s diverse array of art and music, you can enjoy local tastes from 13 food trucks. I can smell those funnel cakes and smoked sausage plates now… not to mention freshly squeezed lemonade, ice cream, and an array of other tasty treats.
This year, the popular Craft Beer and Wine Tent moves to a central location between the main park and Big Spring East and will feature craft beer from Yellowhammer and Straight to Ale for the grown ups to enjoy.
What Families Should Bring to Panoply
You can spend all weekend in Big Spring Park at Panoply, and with kids in tow you’ll need to come prepared.
DO: Strollers or small wagons are helpful for small children.
DO: Sunscreen is NOT optional at Panoply! Don’t forget sunglasses and a hat!
DO: Bring a light jacket for the breezy bits in the morning and evening.
DO: Your folding lawn chairs & blankets. The whole event has festival seating, which means there are limited chairs available and you should bring your own to be comfortable or be prepared to stand.
DO: Cash for parking.
Leave these things at home.
DON’T: Please note that no pets or animals are permitted at the festival, with the exception of service animals.
DON’T: Food and beverages are available throughout the festival, and coolers and outside food and beverages are not allowed. Panoply does permit parents to bring in baby food and formula for their little ones.
Panoply Arts Festival Details
Where: Big Spring Park in Huntsville (map)
When: Friday, April 28 from 5-9 PM
Saturday, April 29 from 10AM – 9PM (Art Marketplace closes at 7:30)
Sunday, April 30 from 11AM – 6PM
Kids 12 and under get in free!
Weekend Pass: Available online in advance for $18 (until 4PM on Friday)
Day Pass: $10 when purchased in advance, $15 at the gate
Military Salute Night: This Panoply tradition continues on Friday, April 28. All active-duty military and Armed Forces reserves, along with their dependents, are welcomed to the park for a free evening of entertainment. Military personnel will be asked to show their current military ID at the entrances.
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