27th Annual Hampton Bay Days Returns to Downtown Hampton, Virginia September 11-13, 2009

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This September 11-13, Hampton, Virginia will welcome about 200,000 fun seekers and festival attendees to the 27th annual Hampton Bay Days. The free event, one of the largest family-friendly festivals and largest “Green” events on the entire east coast, will showcase music by national recording artists Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs, as well as local favorites like Slapwater, The Original Rhondels, and The Prisoners, among others.

The End of the Innocence

This September 11-13, Hampton, Virginia will welcome about 200,000 fun seekers and festival attendees to the 27th annual Hampton Bay Days. The free event, one of the largest family-friendly festivals and largest “Green” events on the entire east coast, will showcase music by national recording artists Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs, as well as local favorites like Slapwater, The Original Rhondels, and The Prisoners, among others.

Friday, September 11 features an eclectic line up of local favorites. Enjoy the R & B, rock, pop, blues, and jazz fusion of the Gator Almond Band & Spice of Life, as well as the cool country of Heather Edwards and Crazy X. The Brad Street Band will keep it rocking with countless covers, while the USAF (United States Air Force) Blue Aces take to the main stage for two energetic performances.

Gold Row seating passes are free to the military and available at a reduced rate of $2/pass to the general public on Friday. Gold Row seating passes are available for purchase 30 minutes prior to each performance on the City Hall Stage. Gold Row seating passes are available at the regular rate of $5/performance on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, September 12, Hampton Bay Days will present an evening with Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs. Hosted on the main stage, the two-part, star-filled show begins at 6:00 p.m. with performances by Ricky Skaggs AND Bruce Hornsby with Kentucky Thunder followed at 8:00 p.m. by Bruce Hornsby and the Noise Makers.

Hornsby, a twelve-time Grammy nominee and three-time Grammy winner, has produced ten albums, and sold over 11 million copies worldwide. Music lovers will enjoy an eclectic mix of hits played by Hornsby and the Noise Makers including, “The Way It Is”, the most played song on American radio in 1987, “The End of the Innocence”, “Every Little Kiss”, and “Jacob’s Ladder”.

Also, known around the music industry as a collaborator, Hornsby has been sought after by a veritable “who’s who” in the music business. He’s played on albums with the likes of Bob Dylan, Don Henley, the Grateful Dead, Bob Seger, Crosby Stills and Nash, Stevie Nicks, Willie Nelson, and more. In 2007, bluegrass veteran Ricky Skaggs and pianist Bruce Hornsby joined forces for a collaborative album released on March 20, 2007. Eleven-time Grammy Award winner Ricky Skaggs is affectionately known as one of bluegrass music’s most recognized ambassadors.        

On Sunday, September 13, local favorites Slapwater will have the crowd moving with their mix of beach, disco, rock n’ roll, and Motown. One of the most popular bands in all of Hampton Roads, Slapwater is sure to bring their loyal following with them. The Original Rhondels, known for three top 10 hits including “May I”, “I’ve Been Hurt”, and “What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am”, will delight audiences with their upbeat style of beach music beginning at 2:30 p.m. Up and coming Newport-News based reggae band The Prisoners keep it irie, taking to the Mill Point Park stage at 12:00 p.m.

In addition to all of the great musical entertainment, the 27th annual Hampton Bay Days festival will also include over 75 merchandise and craft vendors. During the festival weekend, over 30 food vendors will also be available throughout the downtown area. Those looking for more conventional dining options can choose one of the many eclectic restaurants that line historic Queens Way.

Don’t forget to educate yourself on the value and importance of the Chesapeake Bay by stopping by Hampton Bay Day’s Bay Education Area on Saturday and Sunday through 6:00 p.m., located in Carousel Park in downtown Hampton. Featuring over 20 booths, the area is great way to learn about environmentalism, conservationism, and one of our area’s most important natural resources (and the nation’s largest estuary), the Chesapeake Bay. Families will have the opportunity to discover live animal shows, aquatic art workshops, interactive presentations, and children’s entertainment all focused on the “Go Green Generation.”

This year the fully interactive Wyland Mobile Learning Center returns to Bay Days, helping to inform children on how pollution affects our water. Through a series of small activities, visitors can spin the wheel of (mis)fortune to discover the food web, bring rain down over a polluted city to see the impact on a watershed, divert a flowing river to learn about water management, use a computer model to see changes in a lake region over 200 years, and transform a raindrop in the 30-person on-board theater.

New to the Bay Education Area this year is the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, whose mission is to “fund inspired scientific research and innovative educational programs to encourage conservation and best management practices for sustainable marine environments.” Founded by marine biologist and artist Guy Harvey, the organization promotes conservation of marine environments by passing on valuable information to the next guardians of our seas, the children. The foundation will be on site Saturday and Sunday.

The Bay Education Stage, sponsored by the Verizon Foundation, will host a variety of live entertainment throughout the weekend, including Flumpa and Friends LIVE! and the Rainbow Puppets. The Virginia Living Museum will put on a live animal show and there will even be a Magic Show with William Warren’s Animal Friends. Other highlights include various storytellers and a Chesapeake Bay Pirate Show and School for Scalliwags.

Other exhibitors in the Bay Education Area this year include the Chespeake Bay Foundation, Tidewater Oyster Gardeners, the Seaport Foundation, Virginia Marine Science (VIMS), Virginia Natural Gas, Hampton History Museum, WVEC-13 News, Virginia Seafood AREC, TFC Recycling, the Boy Scouts and more. The Pamunkey Indian Reservation will be on-site displaying pottery for sale, in addition to displaying various artifacts. On Sunday only, the Virginia Aquarium will showcase their “Ocean in Motion” mobile aquarium. Bay Education Area hours are 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 12 and Noon- 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 13.

Other weekend activities include the 5K to Phoebus Family Fun Run and a fireworks display at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday evening.

The Fireworks Show is one of the largest, longest and most impressive displays in the area. In order to clear the Settlers Landing Bridge for the fireworks, the Harbour Centre -Parking Garage and Settlers Landing Street will close at 8:30 p. m., an hour and a half before the 10:00 p.m. show. Folks who arrive after 8:30 p.m. will not be able to drive on Settlers Landing or park in downtown Hampton.

This year, Hampton Bay Days is pleased to announce prominent Hampton citizen and former City Manager Jesse Wallace as 2009 Commodore. Wallace has spent over thirty years with the city of Hampton, holding such positions as Director of Revenue Enhancement, Director of Productivity Programs, Budget Director, and Director of Program and Policy Analysis. He served as Assistant City Manager from January 2004 until June 2005, when he was appointed City Manager. Wallace held the position of Hampton City Manager until July 1, 2009 when he retired. As 2009 Commodore, Wallace will officially open the Hampton Bay Days festival on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at the Hampton Bay Days Commodore’s Gala.

The Hampton Bay Days schedule is as follows: Noon-11:00 p.m. on Friday September 11, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. on Saturday September 12, and Noon- 6:00 p.m. on Sunday September 13. Both festival and musical entertainment admissions are free, though a fee will be charged for crafts, games, and food and beverages. Parking will be available in the downtown area for $5.00 per vehicle but it is very limited. Non-profit organizations help staff parking lots and proceeds help local charities.

More information on the 27th annual Hampton Bay Days can be obtained by calling 757/ 727-1641 or by visiting http://www.baydays.com. Additional information can be obtained by calling the Hampton Visitor Center at 757/727-1102 or the Hampton 311 Call Center at 757/727-8311. For hotel and package information, check out http://www.visithampton.com.

In 1982, Hampton Bay Days was created as a unique outlet to educate the public on the importance of the Chesapeake Bay in the Hampton Roads region, as well as the
rest of Virginia and Maryland. The goal of the festival is to provide an entertaining atmosphere while ultimately serving a greater purpose, highlighting aspects of the Bay and promoting its upkeep and preservation.

In 2009, Bay Days was named a Top 20 Event for September by the Southeast Tourism Society (http://southeasttourism.org/top20/top20_julsep09.html). Readers of Chesapeake Bay magazine voted Hampton Bay Days the “Best Waterside Event” in their 2006 Best of the Bay Competition. Previously, the event was named one of the top three North American festivals for 2003 and 2004 by Events Media and http://www.eventcrazy.com.

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