Apr 9

What Does It Take to Put on Panoply?

Special guest blog by Cat Turner, Arts Huntsville Director of Development and Events 

Working on events for the past 30 years, I’ve come to realize I am one lucky person to be able to do work I enjoy. As a transplant from Arizona, I have been involved with festivals and events of all types and sizes.

When I got the job at Arts Huntsville in the Fall of 2018, I felt prepared and ready for an event like Panoply Arts Festival. But nothing could have prepared me for the community effort that makes Panoply so special!

I am often asked what it takes to put on an annual festival like Panoply. I can honestly say that It takes a village!

Panoply has been an important annual tradition in the Huntsville/Madison County community since 1982. Today it is one of the largest annual outdoor festivals in Alabama and a signature community arts event for the city of Huntsville.

Welcoming over 78,000 festival patrons to downtown Huntsville last year, Panoply is an investment in the Huntsville area as it gives the community an opportunity to experience the arts while supporting professional visual artists and musicians.

Producing a festival of this size is no easy feat. Panoply continues to thrive because of both corporate and community support. Not only do the corporate sponsors help underwrite the festival, but many also have their own employees out in the park volunteering over the weekend.

While organized by Arts Huntsville, Panoply relies on a team of over 100 indispensable event chairs and over 1,200 volunteers from our community to manage the various areas and activities that make Panoply so memorable.

Besides running the festival, other services such as HEMSI and National Weather Service, provide our event with the means to continue safely. City services, like Green Team, General Services, Parking, HPD, and Fire, all do the same while making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Without all their continued support, this festival would be virtually impossible.

Panoply 2024 Numbers:

  • 33 Companies Sponsoring
  • 4 Private Donors
  • 5 Foundations Contributing
  • 2 Arts Huntsville Event Staff with additional team support
  • Over 100 Volunteer Chairs spending the full weekend and pre-planning
  • Over 1,200 Volunteers needed to man shifts throughout the weekend
  • City Services: Green Team, General Services, Parking, HPD, Fire
  • Other Services: HEMSI, National Weather Service

And we can’t forget those who make the festival one to attend:

  • Over 50 performances on 3 stages
  • Over 100 visual artists including local and those from across the U.S.
  • Over 1 dozen art, STEAM and community activities to participate in on-site
  • Over 15 specialty Food Vendors and craft beer and wine


When I think about how far this community goes every year to ensure a beautiful Panoply, I just have to say – Thank You!


Thank you to the Huntsville companies and community who support this festival.

And thank you to all who attend!


I feel grateful to be a part of this Spring tradition and look forward to this, my 6th Panoply. I invite you to come on out to Panoply this year. Whether it’s your first or your 40th…I guarantee you will have a great time supporting and celebrating the arts in your community.


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