The 45th annual Dogwood Arts and Crafts Festival

Outside the dogwoods are in full bloom and inside the 45th annual Dogwood Arts and Crafts Festival is bring its own show of color and beauty as the Big Sandy Superstore Arena gets transformed into a giant arts and crafts show.

From 4 to 8 Friday, 10 to 8 Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, come and check out more than 100 home-made vendors from as far away as Missouri and Tennessee making everything from jewelry and soap to cool new things with pallets.

Admission is $7, $5 for seniors and kids 3 to 12 and free for kids under three.

One Earth, 30 Years, Six Artists and Three Events

The locally-based, internationally-known Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition turns 30 in 2017. They are celebrating in style with a a birthday bash weekend that starts at 6 p.m. Friday, April 28 with their annual Treehuggers’ Ball at Huntington's V Club. There will be a 6 to 9 p.m. party on the back patio with three musical acts and then after 9 p.m. three more music acts inside including the nationally touring Cincinnati-based jam-grass unit, Rumpke Mountain Boys, as well as festival favorites Moonshine Crossing and the Karpet Dabs. Admission is $15 and $10 for seniors and students.

Go online at http://ohvec.org/ovecs-30th-birthday-bash-weekend/ to find out more info on the 30th anniversary weekend that also features the People's Climate March starting at 11 a.m. at Heritage Station.

The weekend’s activities wrap up on Sunday, April 30 with an early morning bird watching walk at Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area. There’s limited space for this event so sign up now. Find out more info and sign up at http://ohvec.org/ovecs-30th-birthday-bash-weekend/

Playing That Path to Mountain Music

Huntington's Whizzbang BAM (Booking and Management) is teaming up with the Mountain Music Fest for this 8 p.m. Saturday, April 29 band contest called the Path to the Mountain Music Festival that features such top regional acts as The Company Stores, Tim Browning and The Widowmakers, Fat Catz and Sour Mash String Band, battling it out for a spot on the MMF, which takes place, June 1-3 at the fest at ACE Adventure Center. The Saturday concert is at the V Club, Huntington. Go online at http://mountainmusicfestwv.com/path-to-mountain-music-fest-2017.html to find out more about the fest and the concert.

Get a Laugh In Da Club

Rehmy's Bar and Lounge, 611 Fourth Ave., Huntington, may be mostly known for its DJs (they have hosted everybody from Jam Master Jason to the I Love the 90s after party with Coolio.

But come 8 to 10 p.m. Thursday, April 27, before the dance floor gets hopping they've got some of the region's working comedians on the mic with a show called The Heathens of Comedy doing a show for Hospice of Huntington.

Featured traveling Ohio comedians are Lee Mays, Steve "Pops" Gaines, Bobby Dayton, Jo Stevens, and Eric Crusan as well as two of Huntingtonians, Angela Davis and Christopher "Shank" Shanklin. Cover is $5.

Go online at https://www.facebook.com/TheHeathensofComedy/ and go online at https://www.facebook.com/rehmys611/ to find out more about Rehmy's.

Do Some Noon-Time 'Bowling'

You can get a healthy lunch and do your heart good by stopping by the First Presbyterian Church, 1015 Fifth Ave., from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 28 when they are hosting Huntington's 14th annual Empty Bowls.

Peruse hundreds of beautiful pottery pieces — the empty bowls — hand crafted by Marshall art students and local artisans. Purchase a bowl for $15 and with each bowl purchase includes one ticket to the soup-kitchen style meal of soup, bread and drink. Luckily, the company is often jovial and the soups delicious, which makes it easier to forget that the modest portions and single-file line aren’t your run-of-the-mill lunch out. All proceeds benefit Facing Hunger Foodbank (www.facinghunger.org), a Huntington-based non-profit that serves nearly 116,000 individuals monthly in 16 counties across West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.

Go online at www.facebook.com/HuntingtonEmptyBowls

Go Get Your Race On

Head out to Ona where the Ona Speedway has had racers burning rubber on the asphalt since 1963.

After a successful start to the season with a record opening day crowd, and more than 10,000 people watching the race's live stream, Ona Speedway returns to action this weekend.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, April 29 it is time for the Midway Ford 200 that will feature a full night of racing from late modifieds, modifieds, U Cars, hobby stocks, and classics.

Admission is $10 for general admission, $7 for children ages 11 to 17 and free for those 10 and under. You can also upgrade to pit passes for $25 at the Speedway, which is located at 1 Fair Skies Drive, Ona.

Go online at http://www.onaspeedway.com/ for more information on the summer racing season.

Spring Onto a Blooming Patio

Spring has sprung and with this weekend's summerlike temps it is going to be prime time to check out one of the region's beautiful al fresco dining options.

Go early in the week, like a Tuesday, to try and find a seat on the outdoor beer garden space at the new landmark restaurant Bahnhof WVrsthaus & Biergarten, located at 745 7th Ave., Huntington. It's a rare taste of German cuisine in our region outside of German immigrant rich cities such as Cincinnati (home to Hofbrahaus in Newport) and Columbus (home to the legendary Schmidt's in Columbus' German Village since 1886).

Other great places to patio it up is Portsmouth Brewing Company's historic brick beer garden, the music filled patio at Callihan's All-American Pub at KYOVA Mall outside of Ashland, the flower-filled Marshall Hall of Fame Cafe patio in Huntington, the music patio tucked away along 14th Street West in Huntington at Bobby G's, the Wild Horse Cafe, on the banks of the Ohio River in Pomeroy, Ohio, and the secret back bar patio at The Lantern in downtown Huntington.

Morel Mania Weekend

Join author, cook and mushroom hunter, Julie Albright Powell for Morel Mania, a weekend of fun informative programming at Shawnee State Park near Friendship, Ohio (just northwest of Portsmouth). At 7 p.m. Friday, April 28 at the Shawnee State Park Marina on the Ohio River she will present on how to ID and find many varieties of mushrooms as well as share favorite recipes, photos, art work and more.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, April 29, at the Shawnee State Park campground gather for a short talk about how to find morel mushrooms and then head out at 11 a.m. for a hunting contest. At 1 p.m. hunters should bring their mushrooms to the campground amphitheater to see who found the most, the biggest, the smallest, the funniest looking, etc. At 2 p.m. cook and eat the findings at the end.

Don't miss out on this fun filled exciting weekend in search of the amazing Morel mushrooms. Call the park office for more information and book a campsite now at 1-866-644-6727 or online at www.ohiostateparks.org/shawnee

One Tough Mine and Muddy Run

Want to test your endurance and mettle, well head over for the WGM Extreme 5K Adventure Run that runs from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 29 at White Gravel Mines, 4007 White Gravel McDaniel Road, Minford.

Go online at www.tristateracer.com for more info on this obstacle course race that features a waist-high deep wade through the mine's 50-degree water, a fire jump, a rope bridge crossing, a swim or skim of a natural pond, a rope ascent and descent, an army style mud bog crawl and much more.

My Road Trip Pick this weekend: My Dave Trippin' pick this weekend is to Fairlea, West Virginia where the WV State Fairgrounds is hosting the first West Virginia Craft Brew Festival set for 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 29 with 14 of the now more than 20-plus Mountain State breweries signed on for the event.

The breweries signed on will be: Bad Shepherd Beer Company, Berkley

Springs Brewing Company, Big Timber Brewing Company, Blackwater Brewing

Company, Bridge Brew Works, Chestnut Brew Works, Dobra Supas, Greenbrier

Valley Brewing Company, Morgantown Brewing Company, Mountain State

Brewing Company, Parkersburg Brewing Company, Sophisticated Hound

Brewing Company,Weathered Ground Brewery and Wheeling Brewing Company.

Bands signed on for the event include the redhot up and coming Eastern Kentucky country artist, Tyler Childers, as well as national flatpicker Larry Keel, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, The Jon Stickley Trio and Black King Coal.

The State Fair of West Virginia and Lewisburg Rotary are teaming up for the event that will feature West Virginia craft breweries, a food truck rodeo and all day music, this event will also have special workshops on beer and food pairings, home brew and the importance of agriculture in the brewing process.

Tickets are $50 VIP (1 p.m. entrance), $30 general admission, $15 for Designated Driver (& Under 21) and add $5 to any of those tickets purchased at the gate.

Go online at http://statefairofwv.com/event-center/wv-craft-brew-festival/ for more information.

Dave Lavender is the author of "Dave Trippin: A Daytripper's Guide to the Appalachian Galaxy of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia" and his new travel book, "Mo' Dave Trippin" now for sale on Amazon.com and through CreateSpace.

Check out the new book at the Red Caboose, Empire Books and News, and now at Camden Park. Lavender covers regional travel. Follow The Herald-Dispatch reporter on Facebook and Twitter @DaveLavenderHD.