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Saint John’s River Blues Festival 2011

By Micki Heckman

[singlepic id=2598 w=320 h=240 float=left]The 2nd Annual Saint John’s River Blues Festival in Palatka was an awesome weekend of music played by the most talented and diverse musicians we’ve heard in a long time, well since last year anyway! Fourteen Competition Blues Bands played on Saturday. The winners of the Blues Fest were: 1st-Al Poindexter, 2nd-Tropical Whiskey, 3rd-Mojo Chillin, 4th-The Electrik Fence Blues Band, 5th-Root Redemption, 6th-Shelby and the Mustangs. Congratulations to all the top bands. A big thank you goes out to all of the contestants who played and entertained the crowds.

There were two large stages set up about four blocks apart with plenty of seating for our comfort. Some folks just couldn’t sit still and toe tapping to the music often led to dancing. The crowds were large and friendly and we met so many of our Thunder Roads readers mingling about and enjoying the music. No matter where you live in east Florida it is a nice ride on a motorcycle on a beautiful day. Always nice to see old friends and make the acquaintance of new ones.

This is a great family event with many families of all ages, babies in strollers to grandparents mingling and enjoying the music. Walking along St. Johns Street you could smell the most delicious foods being cooked to order and my favorite Funnel Cakes in the making, just made you wanna have one. There were Ice Cream cones, banana splits, huge big green dill pickles and all kinds of beverages up & down the street for all to enjoy. Beer Gardens were located at Downtown Blues Bar and Steamboat Willies for the thirsty folks who had the pleasure of enjoying this great festival. We can’t forget the games that so many were participating in, especially the kids who were really having fun.

As always the end came much too soon and we really want to thank the dedicated volunteers without whose help the weekend wouldn’t have been such a success. Head Judge: Lee Kelly, Vendors: John Key, T-shirts: Mary Lou Marazi, Security: Randy Blasczyk, Stage Management: Larry Messer, Sound engineers: Jim Desoto & Martin Martini, Construction: Max Vollendroff. A really big thank you also goes out to Billy & Gay from Downtown Blues Bar & Grille who gave so much of their time and effort to the event.

If you missed the Blues Fest this year, get your calendars out and mark the date so you don’t miss it next year. Look for us on the cover of the November issue of Thunder Roads Florida Magazine and we’ll see you on the weekend of November 17 & 18, 2012.

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