Oh, it is on. We are midway through May and with the sun doing its thing, we are moving the parties into the Great Outdoors.
Although Memorial Day may be the unofficial start to summer, we're going to go ahead and let the good times roll starting now.
Here's a look at just a few of the cool things happening outdoors and indoors this weekend around Southern West Virginia and beyond.
Wanderlust Muzik Fest 2019
Friday through Sunday, May 17-19, head over to Berry's Campground & Tiger's, 1183 New River Road, Hinton, where Whyte NoiSe Co., is hosting the camp-out Wanderlust Muzik Fest 2019 featuring a two full days with two dozen bands on the banks of the New River.
Bands include Black Garlic, We The People, Voodoo Circuit, Electric Riverside Band, Open Wheel, Holding Cell, Trebuchet, Groundhog Gravy, East of Memphis, Whyte Noise Co., DJ Sketti, J-Czar, an open mic and more. Located near Sandstone Falls, this scenic fest features on-site swimming, fishing, boat rentals, tube rentals, on-site convenience store, bar and grill
Cost is $35 (includes camping), $25 for those ages 5 to 18 and free for kids 5 and under. No pets allowed.
Go online at https://www.facebook.com/WhyteNoiseCo/.
Comedic improv stars of 'Whose Line Is it Anyway?' at Mountain Arts Center Friday
Armed with nothing but their sharp wit, "Whose Line is it Anyway?" stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood take to the stage with their uproarious live improv show, The Scared Scriptless Tour. The performance will take place at The Mountain Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 17.
Ticket prices start at $27, plus taxes and fees at www.macarts.com, by phone at 888-MAC-ARTS or at the Box Office
Colin and Brad improvise new material every night from audience suggestions and participation.
Learn more at colinandbradshow.com.
Spring Photography Weekend
Friday through Sunday, May 17-19, head over to the picturesque Twin Falls Resort State Park where professional photographers Steve Shaluta, Steve Rotsch and park superintendent Scott Durham are the workshop instructors for the annual Spring Photography Weekend.
If you're an amateur photographer or a working pro, you will pick up lots of tips to increase your photo skills. Twin Falls' 4,000 acres, complete with the park's Pioneer Farm, create picture perfect settings for photography. There is always the possibility you'll also capture photographs of the park's flora and fauna.
Past workshops have included discussions about various types of photography equipment and photo editing tools, composition, using natural light and flash photography, how to photograph people, action photography, scenic photography, digital imaging and file storage. Both Rotsch and Shaluta also have experience with aerial and drone photography. The classes are very fluid, and questions and requests are welcome.
The workshop include lots of hands-on photography outings, including a popular night photography session when weather permits. The Sunday morning session includes a critique of their student's favorite photographs.
To RSVP, call Deana Cook, activities coordinator at Twin Falls Resort State Park, at 304-294-4000.
A Hot Cup of rock
The Hot Cup, 201 Stratton St., Logan, is serving it up with volume from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 18.
Logan's own Routine Days Tanner Kitchen (vox, rhythm guitar), Garret Smith (lead guitar), Avery Thomas (bass) and Chris Collins (drums) brings its high-energy and fun emo rock along with Huntington-based four-man punk meets noise rock unit, Waxjaw, who've not only released a new live tour-tape but chalked up shows in six Midwest states including Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.
Matewan Heritage Day
Head over to the historic district of Matewan on Saturday, May 18, when the award-winning Matewan Drama Group will host its 19th season of reenactments.
Check out Matewan Massacre dramas at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., as well as flea market vendors and musical performances. The band County, out of Iaeger, will perform.
Matewan Historic District was the scene of the Battle of Matewan on May 19, 1920, during a coal miners' strike. It led to the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest insurrection ever associated with the labor movement in the United States.
Find more information about the Heritage Days event on Facebook.
Hike at Chief Logan State Park
What goes "bump" in the night? Who makes that strange sound? Wonder no longer when you join Naturalist Lauren Cole at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18, for a Full Moon Hike at Chief Logan State Park. With the full moon to light our way, the walk is about West Virginia's nocturnal denizens: owls, raccoons, bats, coyotes, moths and more.
The hike concludes before 10 p.m. During a Full Moon, the moon is 100% illuminated as seen from Earth and is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. Please wear closed toe shoes or boots.
The Full Moon Hike is a Kids to Parks Day (and parents) activity and is free to attend and open to the public and suitable for all ages. Youth 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
From the Cabin Porch: Lifestyles of Pioneering Times
If there was a "Way Back Machine," would you visit the 1800s to learn how folks lived and survived?
Join Naturalist Lauren Cole at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Chief Logan State Park's pioneer homestead to hear about the history of the state park area, pioneers, homesteading lifestyles and a bit about the structure itself. Cole's program begins from the porch, and then steps inside for a short viewing of the inside of the structure. Cole will be at the cabin until 7 p.m.
Learn what it was like in a time when you had to build your own home from things you had available outside without modern conveniences like motorized vehicles, power tools or air conditioners. How long could you go without a grocery story? Plumbing? The internet?
From the Cabin Porch is free to attend and open to the public and suitable for all ages.
'A Taste of Russia'
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 18, Christ the Savior Orthodox Christian Church is hosting its event, "A Taste of Russia," on the church grounds at 6378 Rte. 152 in Wayne.
Foods such as "shashlyk" (grilled skewered meat) and pelmeni (Russian style ravioli) will be served alongside a variety of Russian salads and other side dishes and desserts. Items will be sold together as a sampler platter (including all items) or a-la-carte, with individual items starting as low as $2.
The church will also be open, and tours will be held each hour on the hour beginning at noon.
Several vendors are also expected to attend including the monks from Holy Cross Monastery, who will sell their handmade soaps and other products. Proceeds from this event will benefit Christ the Savior Food Pantry, which serves the local Wayne community each week from 5 to 7 p.m.
Live taping of Mountain Stage
New Orleans funky unit Tank and The Bangas, past winners of NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts contest, rolls into Charleston at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 19, to tape Mountain Stage with host Larry Groce at the Culture Center Theater.
Check out the band before they hit jazz festivals in Europe and the Newport Jazz Festival in the U.S.
Also on the bill at Sunday's Mountain Stage, episode #944, is veteran songwriter Justin Townes Earle, Adia Victoria, The Trews and Courtney Marie Andrews.
Tickets are $20 advance or $30 day of the show. Go online at mountainstage.org.
Screening of 'Knock Down
the House' documentary
At 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19, head over to the LaBelle Theater, at 313 D St., South Charleston, to see the first public screening in West Virginia of the Sundance Award winning documentary, "Knock Down the House." The film follows four exceptional women as they mount grassroots campaigns - without Big Money corporate donations - against powerful incumbents in the 2018 midterm elections including New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the only one to win her campaign.
West Virginia's own Paula Jean Swearengin and Nevada's Amy Vilela will be present to take audience questions after the screening.
The event is free, but seating is limited. You'll need to register for your free ticket on Eventbrite in order to attend. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Local grassroots groups will have informational tables. The film starts at 7 p.m.
Go online at OVEC.org for more information.
60th annual Armed
Forces Day Parade
At noon Saturday, May 18, the 60th Annual Herbert J. Thomas Memorial Armed Forces Day Parade will take place on D Street In South Charleston . This is the longest consecutive running military parade in the United States.
A smoking good time on
the Charleston riverfront
BBQ lovers will want to converge on Charleston's Haddad Riverfront Park at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, for the fourth annual Charley West BBQ Fest benefiting the Bob Burdette Center afterschool program.
Purchase meals from commercial BBQ vendors and tasting tickets to sample BBQ from backyard BBQ and competition BBQ cooks.
Ten dollars will purchase 10 tasting tickets and the chance to vote for one's favorite commercial BBQ and favorite competition BBQ. Winners will be named "People's Choice-Best BBQ." In addition, a panel of judges will do blind taste testing in the commercial, competition and backyard divisions.
There will also be live music from The Mark Miller Band, Emmalea Deal, Matt Mullins and the Bringdowns and Peddlers Glory.
Get loud, get found with Qiet
The Charleston-based indie rock unit Qiet has been a favorite at clubs, festivals and Mountain Stage, with their original and eclectic tunes that you make you think and make you dance.
At 9 p.m. Saturday, May 18, head over to Louie's at the Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Cross Lanes where Christopher"Qiet" Vincent and his band of merrymakers bring their high energy that will keep you dancing long after the show. Admission is free.
Go online at https://www.facebook.com/qietmusic/.