If there was ever a doubt the Mid-Ohio Valley is a hotbed of musical talent, you've never been to the Marietta Brewing Co.'s music festival.
Now in its fifth year, the festival will showcase more than 35 bands over the next four days. Starting this afternoon at 4 with the West Virginia group DW West and continuing through midnight Sunday, more than 20 of those acts will be locally grown.
"Somebody said a couple weeks ago when I was putting up the schedule at the Brewery that he didn't even know there were that many bands in this town," said Michael Krichten, co-organizer of the festival. "It's definitely a surprise for some folks that there's this much talent in the area."
Local stalwarts like Poobah, Sacra Via, The Faculty and Liecus are among those performing over the four-day event. Other highlights include a fire show by The Burning Dawn; Doxcity, a rap group from Athens and Cincinnati; popular jam band The Greens, from Morgantown; and the instrumental/post-rock band Sons Had Father.
There will also be a raffle Sunday for a $900 guitar, donated by Kassel Music, and a desktop computer and monitor, donated by Wayne's Computer World.
As popular as the event has been, though, it almost didn't happen this year when the Brewery got new ownership, Krichten said.
"I'm close to the people involved (in the Brewery) and it came to my attention they weren't going to do the music festival this year, which seemed like a shame," he said.
"It raised $1,200 for the humane society (last year) and that's money they can use, so I figured I'd head it up this year."
The Humane Society of the Mid-Ohio Valley will again benefit from the festival through donations and sales of T-shirts. Humane society volunteers will be on hand accepting monetary donations as well as food items, dog or cat leashes and other items such as cleaning supplies.
Essentially anything you could use in your house, the shelter needs, said Steve Herron, humane society director.
"People always think, especially if somebody makes a $5 or $10 donation, that it's not much, but if a lot of people are donating, a little bit adds up to a lot," Herron said.
"If you make $1,200 here and $1,500 there, after three or four fundraisers that take up a small weekend you end up with $5,000 to $6,000 - and that's significant to us."
"We enjoy putting on these kinds of little fundraisers," he continued. "Not only is it fun to do, but it shows how much support we have in the community. We have a very giving community."