Event organizers of HOTAfest have announced this year’s lineup of musical guests.

HOTAfest, a combination of the acronym HOTA — for “Heart of the Arts” — and the word “festival,” is an annual folk music and art event.

This year’s festival includes Grammy-winning folk musicians and local talent alike, who will perform at the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville alongside several arts and music workshops.

Singer-songwriter — and fiddler— Sara Watkins will headline HOTAfest.

After having helped found the progressive bluegrass act, Nickel Creek, Watkins has started a music career of her own. She has performed at the SXSW music festival, and has toured alongside the likes of The Decemberists.

“I’ve been a huge fan of hers since I first heard Nickel Creek,” said Titusville Council on the Arts Executive Director Ashley Eichhorn-Thompson in an interview with the newspaper.

Watkins will perform at Henne Auditorium, on July 15, at 8 p.m.

Grammy-winning musicians Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer will also perform at this year’s festival. The duo is known for its traditional and contemporary folk music, old-time country, and swing music. Fink and Marxer are also known for their children’s music.

They will open for Watkins in Henne Auditorium, at 6:30 p.m.

Pittsburgh-based group Rachel Eddy and The Early Mays will also play at the weekend-long folk music event.

The group played at the 2016 HOTAfest, and event organizers are pleased to have them return.

“They have a great following,” Eichhorn-Thompson said of the trio.

In regard to the workshop portion of the festivals, attendees can expect a mix of old and new.

Eichhorn-Thompson told the paper that the HOTAfest board is looking to create more beginners’ classes than there have been in years past. Workshops will still center around either music or the arts.

A musical petting zoo will also be held for children.

“It’s a really great day,” Eichhorn-Thompson said, “and there’s something for everyone.”

HOTAfest will begin on July 14 and will conclude on the 16th. There is a fee to attend.

The last day for early pre-registration is May 19, while the last day for pre-registration, is July 1.  

Those who are interested can find more information on the HOTAfest website, at hotafest.com, or call the Titusville Council on the Arts, at 827-2381.

Sample can be reached by email, at ssample@titusvilleherald.com.

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