Multifest returns to Charleston for weekend celebration of diversity

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A festival that celebrates diversity in the arts, music, culture and sports returns to Charleston this weekend after taking a year off in 2020 due the COVID-19 crisis.

The 31st annual Multifest runs through Sunday at and around Haddad Riverfront Park.

West Virginia Power is the main partner. An African American Heritage Night was held Thursday night at Appalachian Power Park.

R&B Hall of Fame group H-Town headlines Friday night on the Schoenbaum Stage.

On Saturday, there will be a morning workout with Body Combat, yoga, hip-hop exercise and Zumba. The evening includes local artists Three Chill, Nakkia Ayers followed by The Allen Smith Band from Bluefield. Closing out the night will be hip-hop artist Rob Base and R&B smooth sounds of “”SILK.” Fireworks start at 10:30 p.m.

WNBA star and part-owner of the Atlanta Dream Renee Montgomery will host a forum with young people Sunday at 2 p.m. from the Schoenbaum Stage with 98.7 The Beat’s Woody Woods.

Woods, speaking on Friday’s “580 Live” heard on 580-WCHS, said he expects big crowds, which is why he believes it’s important to get vaccinated given the ongoing pandemic.

“This weekend is going to be beautiful. We got to continue stuff like this and the way we can continue stuff this is to get vaccinated,” he said.

There will be a back to school youth block party, performances by local artists and then the four-day event will conclude with a concert by the Ying Yang Twins on Sunday.

Along with music and activities, there will also be a number of food vendors along the Kanawha Boulevard.

“There’s still going to be beer out there,” Woods said. “You’re going to have more vendors and stuff you can buy — t-shirts, necklaces, dresses and a lot more food this weekend.”

The events are all free and open to the public.