Okay, it’s time for your guide to things you can do in and around Charleston and the Mountain state for the pre-holiday weekend, which in Charleston is filled with the recently-revived Sternwheel Regatta.

While a Regatta is a boat race, in Charleston it’s a huge music festival on the riverback where open-container laws are suspended and drunken revelry and music are the order of the day.

The musical acts are usally semi-big-name artists who are somewhere on their career arc between “just past their expiration date” and “playing state fairs.”  This year the music kicks off on Friday with Better Than Ezra, and opening act The Crunch.  Saturday’s big name is Flo Rida, with opening act, Redline.  Sunday Kool & The Gang are the headliners, with support from Charleston’s own Santa Cruz Band.  On Monday it’s Country night, with Jo Dee Messina, and Kate Boytek. Then on the Fourth of July, The West Viginia Symphony performs, followed by fireworks.

There are tons of other events happening up and down the shuttered Kanawha Boulevard for this event, and you can find a full schedule of them HERE.

Following the Regatta shows, you can walk over to Capitol Street and find after-parties with live music most nights at Sam’s Uptown Cafe and The Blue Parrott.

I do hope that anybody planning to attend remains mindful of the air quality, heat and weather warnings.  We are not having ideal conditions, so please stay safe.

Live Music is back at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM.  Friday it’s Matt Thomas. Saturday James Townshend entertains the crowd at Charleston’s beloved Bookstore/Coffee Shop/Art Gallery.

The World Famous Empty Glass Cafe has some great stuff through the week to tell you about.  Wednesday The Bridget Kelly Band bring the Blues to the Glass at 9 PM. Thursday at 10 PM, it’s Jakob Thomas and Friends. Friday Tim Courts plays during happy hour.  Later on Friday the Glass presents the Jazz-Pop of The Scott Bane Quartet.  Saturday expect the unexpected with Pink Ladies at 10 PM.

A lot of our regular venues are either on vacation or providing technical staff for the Regatta, so we don’t have as many graphics as usual this week, but there’s still way more STUFF TO DO than any one person can do.

Please remember that the pandemic is not over yet. It’s still a going concern. And now there are seasonal allergies, the flu, more fallout from Canadian wildfires, displaced Russian mercenaries, stray inebriated Regatta-goers, excaped gubernatorial gallbladders and other damned good reasons to be careful. Many people who have very good reasons are still wearing masks, and many of us, understandably, are still nervous about being in crowds, masked or not. Be kind and understanding  while you’re out.

If you’re up for going out, here are a few suggestions for coming weekend, roughly in order…