Annual Howlin’ in the Alley Saturday

Live music out in the open, hot food and cold beverages are all part of the five-year Howlin’ in the Alley tradition, returning this Saturday in the laneway behind Over the Moon Pub & Pizza in downtown Marietta.

“We’ll have five bands, and it turns into sort of a dance party in the alley,” Michael “Moon” Mullen, pizza parlor owner and event organizer, said Tuesday. “It’s a good time for a good cause.”

The beneficiary of this year’s event is the Marietta Family YMCA.

“Mr. Mullen is a member and regular user of the YMCA, He wanted to do something for a local charity and chose the Y,” said Phil Dicasolo, interim CEO of the Marietta YMCA.

Food and refreshments will be available for purchase, Mullen said.

“Hot pizza and cold beer, and there’s always a sort of wild and ornery element,” he said.

He said around 200 people generally show up for the event.

Seven bands are slated to play for the evening: The Settlement out of Charleston, and local groups Levi Westfall, The Last Minute Honky Tonk Band, Gunship 9, Oyo, Canterbury Blues and Mullen’s own band, Moon and the Shiners.

“It’s sort of a music festival doubling as a fundraiser for the YMCA,” he said.

Tickets are available in advance at the YMCA, 300 N. Seventh St., for $5 or three for $10, which include entries in raffles for admission to concerts at Riverbend in Cincinnati, Zoombezi Bay and the Columbus Zoo, The Wilds, Cedar Point, Kennywood, the Pittsburgh Zoo and other prizes.

Dicasolo said he’ll be at the event.

“I’ll be one of the people helping out, and I’m excited to see our local talent and know we have a part in it,” he said. “I’m just appreciative of everyone who comes out and participates.”

The first four years of Howlin’ in the Alley raised funds for the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley, and although Mullen said “that ran its course” the evening will still have an element for the companion animals: Those who attend are being asked to donate a bag of Purina dog chow or cat chow for the humane society.

“It keeps the ‘howl’ in it,” Mullen said.

If you go

¯What: Howlin’ in the Alley music festival

¯Where: In the alley behind Over the Moon Pub & Pizza, 170 Front St.

¯When: 5 p.m to midnight Saturday.

¯Recommended donation: A bag of Purina Dog Chow or Purina Cat Chow.

¯Number of bands: Five.

¯Raffle beneficiary: Marietta Family YMCA.

¯ Advance tickets: $5, or three for $10, at the YMCA, 300 N. Seventh St.