FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – The 41st annual W.C. Handy Festival will launch in downtown Florence on July 22.

The W.C Handy festival celebrates W.C. Handy, the so-called “Father of Blues” that was born in Florence in 1873.

This year’s festival will feature over 300 events across the city from July 22-31. Live concerts, restaurant deals, and family-friendly games will be held every day of the festival.

The festival was limited in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Laura Holden, executive director of the festival, told News 19 that they are expecting significantly more people to attend the festival in 2022.

“We’re expecting around 20,000 people to show up in total,” Holden said.

Microwave Dave, a local musician, told News 19 that he’s glad to be performing at the festival again.

“I started doing it in the early 1990’s and I’ve been coming back ever since,” Dave said. “It’s one of the things I look forward to the most every year.”

To find a full list of featured events and to buy tickets to premium events you can go to their website here.