Downtown comes alive with West Texas Jazz Party

The West Texas Jazz Society celebrates the music with this annual concert gathering. The event returns to Midland for the first time in five years with a three-day festival of musicians from all around the country. Performances during the afternoon and evening along with a Saturday brunch will offer a full helping of jazz.

The emphasis is on the fun here. This second annual run is a simple one but may require a strong stomach. To officially finish the Root Beer Mile Fun Run, it is required to drink four root beers while completing the one-mile distance — four laps on the track. Of course, the fun could be more for the spectators watching. The run benefits the John Thomas Butler Memorial Scholarship.

Why not just start your downtown festivities here? Just around the corner from COA, Opal’s Table kicks off Saturday with a wine brunch dining event. Chef Chip Hight pairs a variety of wine labels with a menu that includes Backyard Tomato Caprese, quiche Lorraine with roasted potatoes and strawberry shortcake meringue with whipped cream and Welcome Bubbles to start.

The 35th annual Celebration of the Arts goes a little 1980s retro for its downtown arts festival just a block down from the jazz party. The two-day free event features more than 30 artists including six local artists, including the 2018 Distinguished Artist, photographer Aaron Bedell. In addition to the visual arts, the festival will include performances by Weatherstone and the Alberto Madrid Trio, dance by Midland Festival Ballet, the Midland Classic Cloggers and Dance Elite. Artists will offer demonstrations on quilting, painting and retablos, and the Midland Quilters Guild will host a quilt-off.