By Herb Sparrow
Down by the riverside in West Virginia equals music and movies.
In Charleston, the Haddad Riverfront features a 2,500-seat amphitheater that is the scene of free Friday-night concerts from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
“They have done some renovation that includes a retractable canopy over the seating area,” said Jama Jarrett, director of communications for the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau. “During the concert, if the weather is not cooperating, people can still come out. The stage is covered as well.”
Jarrett said the concerts feature mostly local bands covering different genres of music. People can also dock their boats right behind the stage and listen to the concerts.
“It is right on the Kanawha River,” she said.
The amphitheater is also used during the annual Blues Festival, when parts of nearby Kanawha Boulevard are shut down.
In Wheeling, Heritage Point stays busy from April through November with a wide range of events and activities.
“You name it, it pretty much goes on down there,” said Olivia Littman, marketing director for the Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It is a premier destination, with festivals and concerts and just a place to sit and relax. It is right on the Ohio River. You can see the Suspension Bridge from there.
“It has a very nice amphitheater, where the Blues Festival takes place every year. It is home to fireworks, the symphony, our vintage regatta, the Wheeling Wine and Jazz Festival and the Italian Heritage Festival. Just last weekend [in November], we had Winterfest with a synthetic ice rink.”
“In between all the big festivals are free concerts on Waterfront Wednesdays, and five to six times a summer there are Friday-night movies.”
In Morgantown, Hazel Ruby McQuain Park and Amphitheater is home to annual events such as Movies on the Mon, Celebration of America and the Wheeling Symphony Labor Day concert.