San Angelo Blues Society to Host 9th Annual Blues Festival and Rib Cook-Off
SAN ANGELO, TX -- It is hard to believe that it has already been a year since downtown San Angelo was transformed into a lively street festival, see our story here. An estimated ten thousand people attended the 8th Annual Simply Texas Blues Festival in 2016, and organizers are hoping that this year’s Texas Blues Festival and Rib Cook-Off will be just as successful.
Caroline Koger, Treasurer for the San Angelo Blues Society Board said, "Our event will be held on Saturday, May 20, and as always, it is a family-friendly free event that is open to the public."
She added that this year’s annual blues festival does not only feature local blues artists, but that it is also “an IBC competition (International Blues Challenge)." There will be twelve solo/duo or band acts performing, and the winners of this local competition will be eligible to go on to compete in Memphis Tennessee in January. They will be sponsored by the San Angelo Blues Society.
"We actually had sixteen (participant) requests this year, but we are going to have to get it down to twelve, because of our time and judging accommodations," Koger said.
Above - Ed Piper and Carlene Griscom enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown San Angelo
The primary purpose of this event is to promote blues music in San Angelo. The Blues Society is a non- profit organization, and the money raised each year is given in form of scholarships to local college students. “Last year. we gave out over $13,000 in scholarships. Everything we do is based on sponsorships from the community, which are 'in kind' or cash sponsorships and that's how we put on such a huge festival each year,” Koger proudly added.
Above - The legendary world renowned blues artist Zac Harmon - Photo courtesy Zac Harmon
Local musicians will be joined by two bands that “have played blues all over the world,” Koger said, "Michael Lee and the Wartime Limousines will be opening and then the Zac Harmon Band will be closing!" Besides great music, there will be food and craft vendors, motorcycle and car shows, and, of course, everyone's favorite - the Rib Cook-Off!
Winners for all the events will be announced Saturday, May 20, just after 6 p.m. , and awards will be given out right thereafter. All the festival events will take place at the corner of Twohig Avenue and Oakes Street.
A festival of this magnitude takes quite a bit of planning and Koger said, that after a festival, they “try to take a month off, but then [they] try to have [their] headliners booked for next year’s festival by the end of year.” Getting the necessary funding for the event is also very important: “We then start working on the sponsorships almost immediately, because a lot of our big sponsors need to have their commitments in by year’s end," Koger added.
The 2017 Annual Simply Texas Blues Festival schedule is pretty well set as far as participants are concerned, but she added if anyone is still wanting to get in on the Rib Cook-Off, there is still time. To register, you just have to go on the website, please click here.
Additionally, Koger was pleased to mention that this is the second year that Republic Services has been their main sponsor for the event. Furthermore, she was also especially thankful for all the volunteers from the base. "Every year, Goodfellow puts up a list for their folks who want to volunteer, and they help us out every year. Even though the festival coincides with Goodfellow Appreciation Day, they will still be out there on Saturday."
Some people might not realize that the volunteers’ work doesn't stop after the show. She said "we'll all be out there on Sunday morning, covering a 10 block radius, cleaning up every bottle cap, piece of paper and cigarette butt, until all are picked up. We can always use volunteers; even if someone wanted to volunteer that day, they can check in at the Blues tent which will be set up between Peepsi's BBQ and Flamingo Flatts Hotel on Oakes Street."
Koger concluded by saying that "there will be t-shirts and other items for sale with the SABS logo on them. Donations are always appreciated," and she encourages people to bring their "chairs and coolers!"
This event is a must-see! Gather up family and friends, put on those dancing shoes, and get out and support your local musicians!
For more information please visit http://sanangelobluessociety.com