The Summer Arts Festival 2009, a joint effort by Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts and Cinema and the Town of Blacksburg, is celebrating its 18th year bringing the arts to Blacksburg summers.

The festival’s events, beginning May 29 and ending in late August, are completely free and provide New River Valley residents; tourists; and Virginia Tech faculty, staff, students, and conference attendees with a wide array of arts attractions.

The tremendously popular Friday Night Out concerts continue with a temporary move to the Virginia Tech Drillfield because of the Henderson Hall refurbishing and the Department of Theatre Arts’ new Experimental Theatre construction projects. Parking is available around the Drillfield. Concerts start at 6 p.m. and are scheduled for the following Fridays: May 29, June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26, July 10, July 17, July 24, and July 31. The rain site will be the Old Dominion Ballroom located in Squires Student Center located on University Mall Avenue next to Henderson Hall.

Friday Night Out concerts will feature Gerry Timlin, Island Pan and the Panjammers, Crossties Bluegrass, No Strings Attached, Key West Band, Front Porch Swing, Dixie Power Trio, Blues Agents, and excerpts from the Summer Musical Enterprise production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Summer Arts Festival 2009 events also include a Virginia Tech Department of Theatre Arts family-friendly production of Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Also included in the festival will be gallery exhibitions at the Perspective Gallery and the Armory Art Gallery, an Independence Day Celebration sponsored by the Town of Blacksburg, the Steppin’ Out Street Festival sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association, and three free classic movies presented by and at The Lyric Theatre.

From taking the kids to see a children’s theatre performance and watching classic movies such as Singin’ in the Rain, to enjoying a breezy summer evening swaying to the music of a Dixieland band, the festival has a little something for everyone. For a complete listing of all events, visit the School of Performing Arts and Cinema online. To find all current programs or for more information on all aspects of the Summer Arts Festival and the many events it offers, call Jane Harrison at (540) 231-5921.