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… and this year Panoply is bringing back the STEAM and art activities you’ve come to know and love, but with a twist.
Here’s what’s in store at this year’s Panoply Arts Festival, April 26 – 28th, 2019!
Keep reading to learn how you can win a Family Weekend Pass…
This year Panoply introduces the Boeing Bicentennial Village, an area of the park dedicated to celebrating Alabama’s 200th birthday through creative art activities rooted in Huntsville history:
Big Spring Boats – The historic recreation of Ditto Landing’s ferry boat will be on-site at Panoply 2019 for festival-goers to visit and learn about opportunities for ferry rides along the Tennessee River. You’ll also get to create their own cork boats to try out on the water at home.
Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild Discover Music – The Symphony Guild’s popular “Discover Music” experience always introduces young people to musical instruments at Panoply. In 2019, Arts Huntsville is working with volunteers to incorporate a historical perspective to include historical instruments and music of the period to “Discover Music” from 1819 to 2019.
Lily Flagg Moo Masks – Celebrate Huntsville’s beloved bovine, Lily Flagg. Kids can create and decorate fun festival masks in honor of Lily Flagg.
Historic Downtown Huntsville Mini City – Using historic images of downtown Huntsville, families can recreate our historic downtown from the early 1800s using recycled painted boxes. This activity serves as a living history and urban design lesson created by the community during the festival.
Historical Plants of Alabama – Volunteers from Huntsville Botanical Garden Guild are identifying historic plants native to Alabama in the 1800s. You can take home a piece of living history to plant in your home garden, while learning about our region’s prehistoric art.
Alabama Masterpieces: 200 Years of Beauty – This year the Huntsville Museum of Art Academy will be open its doors to Panoply guests to come in and make-and-take their own piece of art. Step inside the museum to discover Alabama’s state symbols of the Monarch Butterfly, Camellia and Saturn V Rocket and create a work of art celebrating Alabama’s 200th birthday.
Stroll Down STEAM Street
STEAM Street celebrates our community’s innovative spirit by bringing together the principles of science, technology, engineering, ART, and math. At no point in Huntsville history has that been more on display than through our nation’s mission to the Moon! STEAM Street activities will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lunar Landing, inviting your family to create their own mission patch and launch their own rockets right from Big Spring Park!
MDA’s Rocket Rules! – Using plastic tubes, kids will create rockets to investigate trajectory, weight, balance, and center of gravity, then test their designs. They will also learn how scientists and engineers use filters to identify different energies of light to learn more about materials and physical objects.
Huntsville STEAMworks’ Launch Pad – After making their very own rocket from straws and cardstock, kids will be able to launch them right there in the park.
Cosmic Coms – Learn how astronauts talk to us from the moon when sound can’t travel through space. Explore amplitude, frequency, and phase to discover how they used radio waves to move voices, music, and data through the vacuum of space.
Janet’s Planets and HAL5’s “What’s Your Mission?” – Every space mission is unique and has its own unique patch designed by the astronauts. Kids can get creative to design their very own mission patch.
Huntsville Ballet’s Dancing Planets – Learn about rotation and revolution in both the solar system and ballet.
Also along STEAM Street, you can view the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s Rockets on Parade – a celebration of NASA’s next great spacecraft, the SLS Rocket. With dozens of rockets decorated by local artists and displayed by companies from across the Tennessee Valley, festival goers will see a creative interpretation of NASA’s upcoming journey into space.
Children’s Gazebo Entertainment at Panoply
Friday, April 26
Doctor Osborn’s Balloons of Doom from 5-8pm
Saturday, April 27
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Doctor Osborn’s Balloons of Doom
4:30 PM – Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theatre Lab 87: An Actor’s Conservatory
Sunday, April 28
12:00 PM – Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theatre Lab 87: An Actor’s Conservatory
1:00 – 5:00 PM – Doctor Osborn’s Balloons of Doom
More Panoply Fun
Panoply Arts Festival features more than 50 performances across 3 stages, showcasing local and regional talent all weekend long! Check out the full stage lineup and tune in to the #Panoply2019 music playlist on Spotify!
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 and Saturday night end the night with a stunning fireworks display!
FOOD & DRINK
The popular Craft Beer Tent returns, featuring beer from breweries across the region. This year it will once again feature a special Panoply Beer, brewed specifically for the festival by long-time festival partner Straight To Ale. Panoply also showcases a great assortment of festival food and food trucks that are kid-friendly.
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 Hours & Tickets
Where: Big Spring Park (map)
When: Friday, April 26 from 5-9 PM
Saturday, April 27 from 10AM – 9PM (Art Marketplace closes at 7:30)
Sunday, April 28 from 11AM – 6PM
Day passes: $10 | Weekend passes: $18
Kids 12 and under get in free!
Purchase passes in advance and skip the line!
Win Weekend Passes to Panoply!
Enter to win four weekend passes to the Panoply Arts Festival April 26-28, 2019. We’ll draw a winner on April 22nd! Don’t want to risk it? Purchase guaranteed tickets now!
As a hyper-local website focused on all aspects of parenting in and around Huntsville, AL, and the Tennessee Valley, Rocket City Mom occasionally asks local parents to submit their stories for publication. This is part of our continual effort to represent varied viewpoints and experiences on our site. However, these articles should not be seen as necessarily expressing the views of Rocket City Mom Media Group, LLC.