Simply Texas Blues Festival Offers Silver Lining to Storm-Stricken Residents
SAN ANGELO, TX -- In the early morning hours of Saturday, May 18, a storm ripped through San Angelo leaving destroyed houses and uprooted trees in its wake. A few hours later, live music fans lined the streets of downtown San Angelo with the opportunity to mentally escape hell for a few hours.
Hundreds of fans took to S. Oakes St. between E. Twohig and Concho Avenues to enjoy the 11th annual Simply Texas Blues Festival. Attendees noted the event’s ability to provide relief in passing on Saturday.
For one business owner, Carlos Rodriguez, of Kona Ice, being a small part of the healing means a lot. He didn’t know of anyone personally affected, but saw the impact it had on the day’s scheduled events.
“Today, we had a couple of venues. Those were affected,” Rodriguez said, referring to the Chamber of Commerce Military Appreciation event at the Bill Aylor Memorial Riverstage.
“We have enough stress in our lives, just in our day to day,” Rodriguez continued. “When stuff like (the storm) happens, it’s good to see the community come together and help those who need help. It’s a great thing to have venues like these to help relieve that stress. Maybe it isn’t storm-related, maybe it’s work-related or whatever it may be. But they have somewhere to go to relax and have a good time in a safe way.”
Rodriguez noted how the family-friendly nature of the festival was a solid foundation to build on for future events in downtown San Angelo.
“Family events are important here in San Angelo. We don’t have enough of them really,” he said.
Passerbys noted how the attendance appeared higher than in years past and the headliner, the Keeshea Pratt Band, had yet to come on.
The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-2 tornado struck San Angelo’s northside on Saturday morning. The damage has left dozens of people without permanent housing at the time.
Residents touring the affected areas near the Bradford neighborhood will need to be mindful of police barricades meant to allow AEP workers space to clear and fix any damage to the area.
The San Angelo Area Foundation has established a relief fund for those wishing to help the victim’s of Saturday’s tornado. You can donate here.
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