HAMPTON - From September 7 to 9, thousands of people will be in downtown Hampton for the 30th annual Hampton Bay Days.
This year's festival and will showcase music by Grinners Flight featuring Mike Williams, Rare Mixx, House & Sinnett, The Dharma Initiative, Heather Edwards Country All Stars, The Deloreans, The English Channel, Bobby “Blackhat” Walters Hampton Blues All Stars, Grant Austin Taylor Band with Aria Summer, Kaycee McGhee, Lewis McGehee Family and Friends, and a special Friday night twilight performance by US Air Force Blue Aces.
The fun begins on the 2012 Headliner Stage at Mill Point at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, September 7 with the blues-rock sound of Grinners Flight, featuring nationally-renowned drummer Mike Williams. Stroll over to the Wine Street Stage at 6:00 p.m. for a performance by the US Air Force Blue Aces. At 7:00 p.m., head back over to the 2012 Headliner Stage at Mill Point and enjoy an eclectic dance party with Hampton Roads’ R&B “supergroup” Rare Mixx. Close out the evening at 9:00 p.m. with House & Sinnett. Jae will play a short jazz set with pianist Justin Kauflin before going into a full-on House & Sinnett show.
Come out early on Saturday, September 8 as the entertainment begins at 1:00 p.m. on the 2012 Headliner Stage at Mill Point with the unique sound of Hampton Roads’ favorites The Dharma Initiative. At 2:00 p.m., check out a performance by Chicago Blues legend Jackie Scott and The Housewreckers. The crowd will go country at 4:00 p.m. when Heather Edwards assembles a star-studded cast of Hampton Roads and Nashville pickers for Heather Edwards Country All Stars. Flash back in time to the decade of decadence, the 1980s, at 6:00 p.m. with The Deloreans. Finally, get ready for a ‘British Invasion” at Bay Days when The English Channel takes the stage at 8:00 p.m., covering classic American and British rock n’ roll. The performance will lead right into the Hampton Bay Days Fireworks Show.
Close out the 30th annual Hampton Bay Days on Sunday, September 9, beginning at 1:00 p.m. on the 2012 Headliner Stage at Mill Point with Bobby “Black Hat” Walters Hampton Blues All Stars. At 2:30 p.m., enjoy the sounds of 17-year old award-winning Norfolk-native Grant Austin Taylor Band with Aria Summer. Bay Days welcomes home pianist and vocalist Kaycee McGehee at 3:30 p.m., followed by a set by her father, guitarist Lewis McGehee at 4:30 p.m., with Lewis McGehee Family and Friends.
In addition to all of the great musical entertainment, the 30th annual Hampton Bay Days festival will also include over 75 merchandise and craft vendors. During festival weekend, more than 20 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.
While at Bay Days, don’t forget to educate yourself on the value and importance of the Chesapeake Bay by stopping by the Bay Education and Children’s Area (Sept. 7 Noon-8:00 p.m.; Sept. 8 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Sept. 9 Noon - 6:00 p.m.) located at Carousel Park. Featuring 13 interactive booths, the area is great way to learn about environmentalism, conservationism, clean water, and one of our area’s most important natural resources (and the nation’s largest estuary), the Chesapeake Bay.
New this year is the Tidewater DockDogs Inaugural Summer Splashdown, taking place the entire weekend in front of the Virginia Air & Space Center on King Street. Tidewater DockDogs events dazzle spectators with high-flying canine athleticism! Spectators will have a chance to cheer on all levels of teams, from new to experienced, as canines splash down into a 28,000 gallon pool. Competitions will include Big Air, Speed Retrieve, and Extreme Vertical. Come out and watch or register your own dog to compete! On-line preregistration is $25.00 per wave and is available at www.tidewaterdockdogs.com. On-site registration is $30.00 per wave and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration for one wave of competition allows access to the dock between competition waves and during designated practice times throughout the weekend.
Other Bay Days festivities include the brand new Hampton Bay Days 8K. The course starts at the Virginia Air & Space Center, goes over the Martin Luther King Bridge, through the campus of Hampton University, through Phoebus, out to Fort Monroe, and concludes back at the Virginia Air & Space Center. All 8K runners will receive a technical shirt, souvenir finisher’s medal, personalized bib, and goody bag. A post-race party will take place at the conclusion of the event. Cost to enter is $40. For registration, check out www.baydays8k.com.
The Hampton Bay Days Fireworks Show (spanning 25-minutes), is one of the largest, longest, and most impressive fireworks displays at any festival. In order to clear the Settlers Landing Bridge for the fireworks, the Harbour Centre -Parking Garage and Settlers Landing Road will close at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 8, 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 announce Fort Monroe National Monument National Park Service Superintendent Kirsten Talken-Spaulding as 2012 Commodore. A 20-year park service veteran, she was named Fort Monroe National Monument superintendent on November 2, 2011, one day after President Barrack Obama named the historic fort a national monument. A native of Williamsburg with a degree in biology from the College of William and Mary, Talken-Spaulding has held assignments at Mojave National Preserve in California, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, and Haleakala National Park in Hawaii. As 2012 Commodore, Talken-Spaulding will officially open the Hampton Bay Days festival on Wednesday, September 5 at the Hampton Bay Days Commodore’s Gala.
The Hampton Bay Days schedule is as follows: Noon-11:00 p.m. on Friday, September 7; 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 8; and Noon- 6:00 p.m. on Sunday September 9. 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 is very limited. Non-profit organizations help staff parking lots and partial proceeds help benefit local charities.
More information on the 30th annual Hampton Bay Days can be obtained by calling 757/ 727-1641 or by visiting 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.
In 1982, Hampton Bay Days was created as a unique outlet to educate the public on the importance of the Chesapeake Bay in the Coastal Virginia region, as well as the rest of Virginia and Maryland. The goal of the festival is to provide an entertaining atmosphere while ultimately serving the greater purpose of highlighting aspects of the bay and promoting its upkeep and conservation.