Multifest begins Friday in Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Multifest will begin its 32nd year of celebrating diversity in West Virginia this weekend with various events in Charleston.

Multifest will feature various musical performances at Haddad Riverfront Park through Sunday as well as a basketball clinic Saturday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.

David Fryson, a board advisor for the festival, said on Thursday’s “MetroNews Talkline” that Multifest was created after Black residents were left out of discussions on the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta.

“Now, 32 years later, we are still celebrating diversity in West Virginia,” he said.

The festival will have multiple headlining acts performing at Haddad Riverfront Park, including Mya on Friday, R&B group Tony! Toni! Tone! on Saturday, and rapper Chingy on Sunday.

Fryson noted the event will also have events directed at children.

“Over the last two years, kids haven’t really been able to get out,” he said, referencing the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re trying to make sure that throughout Multifest, there will be a place and rides for children and for people to be able to congregate once again.”

Multiple roads will be closed because of MultiFest. The road closures will remain in effect until Aug. 7 at 11 p.m.:

— Kanawha Boulevard from Capital Street to Clendenin Street.
— Summers Street from Virginia Street to Kanawha Boulevard.
— Laidley Street from Virginia Street to Kanawha Boulevard.
— Court Street from Virginia Street to Kanawha Boulevard.