The Summer Arts Festival is back for its 22nd year of music, theatre, movies, and more in downtown Blacksburg. The festival is sponsored by the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts and the Town of Blacksburg. All events are free.

The first of six Friday Night Out concerts begins June 21, with the jazz sounds of the Cyrus Pace Quartet. Music begins at 6 p.m. on the Henderson Lawn, located on the corner of Main Street and College Avenue, on the campus of Virginia Tech. Other music in the series includes No Strings Attached (acoustic, celtic, swing), Gerry Timlin (Irish folk), Three Minute Lovin' (honkytonk/rockabilly/rock), Sexual Chocolate (soul and R&B), and the Key West Band (Caribbean rock). The rain site for all concerts is the Squires Old Dominion Ballroom.

Enjoy live theatre? The festival offers three theatre productions this summer. The Roanoke Children's Threatre Group performs the family favorite "Stuart Little" June 21-23, in the Squires Studio Theatre. "Loose Threads," a performance piece of poetry, music, and stories, is a collaborative effort between female poets, authors, visual artists, and photographers, and will run July 12-14, and July 19-21, in Theatre 101 on College Avenue. Samuel Beckett's play "Endgame," directed by David Johnson, will be performed Aug. 14-17, and 22-25 in Theatre 101.

Storyteller Andy Offutt Irwin returns with his comedic tales infused with sound effects on June 29, at the Henderson Lawn Ampitheater behind Theatre 101. There will be a children's show at 4 p.m. and a family show at 7 p.m. Rain site is Squires Studio Theatre.

If sitting inside a cool movie theatre is more your style, consider taking in a classic movie at the Lyric Theatre, which will show "The Graduate" on June 22 and 26; "Fiddler on fhte Roof" on July 20 and 24; and "Some Like It Hot" on Aug. 17 and 21. All movies begin at 3 p.m.

If you prefer your movies outdoors, the Movies on the Lawn series will showcase family friendly movies after dark. Bring a blanket or chair and enjoy "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" on June 14; "ParaNorman" on July 12; and "Zookeeper" on Aug. 9. Movies are on the Thomas Conner House Lawn on Draper Road, next to the Alexander Black House. Screenings include free popcorn.

Other events include the Summer Solstice Fest on June 21 and 22, Art at the Market on July 20, Blacksburg's annual Independence Day Celebration on July 4, Steppin' Out street festival Aug. 2-3, and art exhibits at the Armory Art Gallery and Perspective Gallery through Aug. 11.

All events are free and open to the public. Additional information is available online or by contacting Jane Harison at 540-231-5921.

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