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Blues & BBQ sponsors team up, forge ahead with event

Saturday’s festival promises smooth sounds, tasty fare

POSTED: September 29, 2011 7:00 a.m.

The ninth Hinesville Blues & BBQ festival was saved from potential cancellation at the 11th hour by Hinesville Area Arts Council partners Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority, according to event organizers.

“Blues & BBQ has been the signature event of the Hinesville Area Arts Council since its inception,” HDDA Director Vicki Davis said. “The arts council is currently involved in preparing for a relocation and building renovations and was afraid the event would have to be put on hold this year.

“The HDDA and FMWR have been longtime sponsors of the event and (we) collectively decided to step up our involvement to assist the HAAC in hosting Blues & BBQ this year. FMWR has taken the lead in planning the event, which is a tremendous testament to their desire to provide military personnel and families with quality leisure activities whether on or off post for the betterment of the community as a whole.”

“It’s a partnership between the three agencies,” FMWR special events coordinator Chris Dent said.

Dent said HAAC Chairwoman Leah Poole and the arts council didn’t have the time to plan the event this year while the renovation on HAAC’s new location on Commerce Street is under way.

“When we heard it was endangered of being canceled, we decided to help in planning the event,” Dent said.

He added that two of last year’s entertainers will return this year, guitarist and vocalist Sarah Cole of Charleston, S.C., and singer/songwriter Ben Robinson. The Memphis Blues band Victor Wainwright & the WildRoots will headline the event, he said. Dent said Wainwright grew up in Savannah, but the band is based in Memphis, Tenn.

He explained that FMWR is handling the entertainment and HDDA is working with the vendors.

“HAAC will have volunteers working the event,” Dent added. “We (FMWR) also work with the Small World Festival, and we’ll be helping out this year with Christmas in the Park.”

In addition, FMWR supports OktoberFest, which was canceled this year, Dent said.

Blues & BBQ will be from 5-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, in the public parking lot between M.L. King Jr. Drive and West Court Street, across from the Liberty County Justice Center and behind the Coastal Courier offices in downtown Hinesville. The entertainment starts at 5 p.m., but residents can arrive at 4 p.m. to participate as “People’s Choice” judges of barbecue, according to HDDA’s Facebook page. For a $3 donation to the arts council, judges will receive sample cards and voting tokens. The HDDA Facebook page also announced that beer will not be sold on site; vendors will make soft drinks and water available.

“We usually have it in Bradwell Park, but with renovations going on at the county courthouse, we’re holding the festival in the justice center parking lot,” Poole said, citing safety concerns. “We hope to have it in Bryant Commons next year.”

The arts council expects to move into its new location at 102 Commerce St., where the old Liberty County Voter Registration formerly was located, during the week of Oct. 17, according to Poole.

For more information about Blues & BBQ, call 767-4316.

 

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