- April 29 - May 1, 2022
- Celebrating 40 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 29 – May 1, 2022!
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 40th 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. This year it will feature an art of science microscope exhibit, live demonstrations, and takeaway STEAM activities including rocket propulsion, spinning pirouettes, hands-on circuit activities, and more! Fantasy Playhouse will present Nutrition with Nick Nutrition and His Wonder Dog Fiber using visual art, health science and math!
Creativity Corner will offer takeaway art activities for kids and families to create at the festival.
- Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guilds will be back with their popular Instrument Petting Zoo – a fun way to introduce young people to musical instruments!
- Find your inner poet with just a page from a book and a sharpie at Black Out Poetry. Create Chihuly’s famous Macchia series using vibrant dashes of color on coffee filters to recreate the color and shape.
- Using paint, foil, and other artist tools, create your own dot monoprint at The Dot Stop.
- Learn simple watercolor techniques to create one of several designs or create your own masterpiece at Wonders of Watercolor.
Strolling Characters: See characters from your favorite local arts organizations strolling through the park for awesome photo opportunities. You’ll never know who exactly you’ll find crossing the Red Bridge or hanging out near the Kid’s Activities!
Panoply Letters: The arrival of the giant “PANOPLY” letters always signal the start of the festival! This year’s Panoply letters will be finished artworks created by UAH art students designed to provide fun festival photo opportunities in the park throughout the weekend. There will be a second set of letters that guests can paint during the festival, as well.
New & Returning Activities for 2022
Two popular tents make a comeback this year at Panoply, and one brand-new experience is making a debut!
- Your kids will be overjoyed… The Panoply Face Painting Tent is back after its Covid hiatus!
- 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 welcomes a new Art OutLoud Stage that will provide an outlet for spoken word performances from local literary figures, poets, authors and comedians.
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.
Saturday Music Lineup: On Saturday, the music starts when the gates open at 10 a.m. The festival welcomes Rule of Thirds, Knightshade, Shane Davis, Grove Yard and Will River throughout the day.
That evening, the stage will be filled with big sound and big horns as festival attendees can enjoy local powerhouse opening act Element XI and then catch Saturday’s headliners The Suffers. The Suffers’ eight-piece band, hailing from Houston, Texas, has played sold-out shows in Japan and Latin America. Their contagious and combustible energy has also been featured at the Newport Folk Festival and the Afropunk Festival.
Sunday Music Lineup: Sunday celebrates a day of Alabama Music! The day features the fresh, local band TGTG, followed by Moon Tree out of Muscle Shoals. Local favorite and past-Panoply contest winner Alex Banks & Co. hit the stage in the early afternoon, followed by Huntsville singer-songwriter Lana White with her soulful, soft rock sound.
Closing out the festival’s Pepsi Showcase Stage – and returning to the town he grew up in – is Paul McDonald, whose voice is noted as immediately recognizable and impossible to ignore.
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 Tent returns, featuring beer from breweries across the region. Church Street Wine Shop will have select wine available in the Panoply Art Marketplace and the Craft Beer Tent as well.
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 29 from 5-9 PM
Saturday, April 30 from 10AM – 9PM (Art Marketplace closes at 7:30)
Sunday, May 1 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 – Can be purchased in advance online or at the festival ticket booths
Military Salute Night: This Panoply tradition continues on Friday, April 29. 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.
You Might Also Like…
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.