This Weekend, DSI Hosts 24-Hour Comedy Marathon

It’s an annual tradition for Chapel Hill’s DSI Comedy Theater, and it begins on Saturday night:

At 8:30 p.m., eight improv comedians will take the DSI stage and begin performing – and they won’t stop for 24 straight hours.

It’s the eleventh annual 24LIVE Comedy Marathon, which has been raising money for local charities since it first launched in 2003. The eight “core” performers – joined throughout by a steady stream of other Triangle-area performers – are longtime comics from several of DSI’s top teams, some of them veterans of marathons past.

For more info on 24LIVE and ticket information, visit

This year’s 24LIVE will be raising money for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Ten dollars buys a wristband that’ll get you in anytime during the marathon – so you can stay for the full 24 hours (some do!) or come and go as you please.

(And yes, they’ll be performing at 4 in the morning too. “We want this to be a comedy slumber party,” says DSI’s Ashley Melzer.)

Part of this year’s 24LIVE coincides with Festifall on Franklin Street, which runs from noon to 6:00 on Sunday afternoon. DSI is located at 462 West Franklin Street, right in the midst of the festival – so you may see some of the core performers on the street as well. And in the theater itself, DSI will be devoting that six-hour block to family-friendly comedy, so families at Festifall can stop by the theater too.

Zach Ward and Ashley Melzer of the DSI Comedy Theater joined Aaron Keck on WCHL this week.

It’s Festifall Time!

It wouldn't be Festifall with out Ron Stutts and WCHL!

It wouldn’t be Festifall with out Ron Stutts and WCHL!

It’s October, and that means it’s time for Festifall!

Chapel Hill’s annual fall festival draws about 15,000 people each year to Franklin Street for a street party featuring arts, crafts, music, dance, magic, comedy, games, food, and more. This year’s event will run from noon to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, on West Franklin Street from Mallette to Roberson.

Visit the Town of Chapel Hill’s official Festifall site.

Highlights include a Lego sculpture; a showcase of the painted goats from Galloway Ridge’s Goat Parade; and three performance stages, two of which will be MC’d by WCHL’s Ron Stutts and Aaron Keck. Performers include The Fox Fire, Cognitive Resonance, a Buddy Holly/Ritchie Valens tribute band called “Your Everyday Buddy,” and Tom Maxwell, a singer/songwriter formerly of the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Check out the official event guide here, with a map and a complete performance schedule.

The weather is expected to be sunny, with temperatures in the low- to mid-60s.

WCHL’s Ron Stutts spoke with Chapel Hill special events coordinator Wes Tilghman…


…and Aaron Keck spoke with Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt about Festifall.


Also this week, Your Everyday Buddy’s Jack Vitaliz (AKA “Ritchie Valens”) and Kevin Baker (“Buddy Holly”) joined Aaron on the air – along with drummer Steve Dear – to promote their Festifall show and play a couple acoustic songs, “Donna” and “That’ll Be The Day.”


And Pat Richardson of Galloway Ridge joined Aaron on the air this week as well, along with artist Lisa Goldstein and Sarah Lamm of the Rivers Agency, to talk about the Goat Parade.

Festifall to Crowd Franklin Street Sunday

CHAPEL HILL – Chapel Hill’s 41st annual Festifall on Franklin Street is Sunday.

***Listen to the Story***

“We always get excited for this beautiful event. It’s been voted the last 3 consecutive years as Chapel Hill’s best event,” event organizer Wes Tilghman says.

Festifall is on West Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill.  Tilghman and Chapel Hill Public Library staff member, Megan Rosen say this year the event is bigger than ever.

Attendees can expect art, music, live performances, local food, good reads, and plenty of dancing.

“We’ve got over 80 artists, 4 live performance areas, and we’re going to invite some of the local restaurants to the streets with us to join in,” Tilghman says.

Six blocks of West Franklin Street will be filled with all types of different artists, and community organizations from the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area. Over 120 different exhibitors will be at the festival.

Chapel Hill’s newly expanded and improved Public Library will host one of the exhibits with a digital book-mobile. And Rosen says it won’t be hard for the attraction to catch your attention.

“We’re bringing in an 18-wheeler that’s loaded for bear,” Rosen says, “It’s a 74-foot long tractor trailer, that’s tricked out with broadband internet access, HD monitors, an awesome sound system, and lots of interactive video and instructional material about downloading e-books from the Chapel Hill Public Library.”

Rosen says library staff members will be there to answer questions, help people browse the library collections, and see what it is the new library has to offer.

“We’re really hoping to expand people’s awareness of their community-owned resources at the library,” Rosen says.

WCHL’s own Aaron Keck will host the Dance Evolution stage. The stage will feature a lot of different types of dance, and dance productions.

“They’re going to get the crowd pretty involved, so you might find yourself on stage,” Tilghman says, “There will be lots of fun, local entertainers that everyone knows, and have heard before.”

Tilghman and Rosen hope you come out Sunday to support local artists, to purchase gifts, to grub on great, local dishes; or go to browse 6 blocks of Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s finest.

For more information about Festifall, click here.

Festifall & Transportation; OC Holiday Program

CHAPEL HILL – Chapel Hill’s Festifall, an annual celebration of the arts, will once again transform Franklin Street on Sunday, October 6.

The event lasts from noon to 6 p.m. and includes numerous art activities along with free music.  The event features a diverse market of artists with artwork from a variety of medias–fiber, glass, jewelry, painting, photography, pottery, and more.

There will also be live entertainment on three stages. Festifall’s Home Grown Stage and West End Stage will showcase area musicians, including Hindugrass, Tokyo Rosenthal, and Tea Cup Gin.  The Dance Evolution Stage will feature a variety of diverse dance groups ranging from clogging to tap–plus an appearance by UNC’s Dance Marathon and a performance by DSI Comedy Theater.

Whether to check out the local art scene or to enjoy a fun and active environment, be sure to visit Festifall on Sunday October 6.  For more information click here.


Chapel Hill Transit will provide service to Festifall on October 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.  The NU route will be rerouted to West Rosemary, the entrance to Festifall.

People can board the bus along the NU route or the park and ride lot at 725 MLK Blvd.

Regular NU customers should plan for an extra 5 minutes for their Sunday afternoon trip.   For more information click here.


Orange County Cooperative Extension hosts its annual holiday program entitled “The Spirit of Elegant Holidays 2013: Home and Health Throughout the Year.”

This year’s program will emphasize food, crafts, and decorating ideas for the holiday season.

The event will take place on October 24 at 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Hillsborough United Methodist Church.

Registration is $5 until October 10; afterwards it will go up to $8.  For more information on registering click here.