Ashland's 11th annual labyrinth walk to the New Year will honor musician Dave Marston, who died of a rare brain disease in June.

Ashland's 11th annual labyrinth walk to the New Year will honor musician Dave Marston, who died of a rare brain disease in June.

The interfaith event will be held Thursday and Friday at First United Methodist Church, where Marston served as choir director. The Ashland musician directed performances by the Rogue Valley Peace Choir and the Ancient Men Renaissance music group at the labyrinth walks.

Those two groups will perform on New Year's Day at the labyrinth.

"It's the kind of thing that Dave supported and he contributed his talent to in terms of music and presence," said Elizabeth Austin, event coordinator. "He was there. He was always there."

Marston's wife, Tammy, and daughters, Sarah and Rose, will sing at the opening ceremony, which begins at 4 p.m. Thursday in the church's Wesley Hall, 175 N. Main St.

Following the opening ceremony, community members will be invited to walk the 38-foot labyrinth while listening to music by instrumentalist Richard Williams, The Inchantersz chant group, vocalist Nancy Bloom and harpists James Excell and Elizabeth Markell, among others.

The event is free and open to the community.

The labyrinth will close at 1 a.m. Friday and reopen later that day at 9 a.m. The Marston family will also take part in a closing ceremony, at 6 p.m. Friday.

"We're honoring Dave," Austin said. "He was such an important figure in the Valley and it was so tragic to lose him."

For the past 10 years Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship hosted the labyrinth walk, but this year the church did not have the resources to put on the event and asked the Methodist church to take the reins, she said.

"It's really fitting — of all the years for it to change locations, this was a good year because we are honoring Dave," Austin said.

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 482-3456 ext. 226 or hguzik@dailytidings.com.