Friday, June 10, 2011

#202: South Bend Blues and Ribs Fest

Only one letter differentiates "fest" and "feast", but I think the South Bend Blues and Ribs Fest will bring these two words together even further.  Among the many festivals this summer, this one in particular is a feast, both for your ears and your tastebuds.

In its inaugural year, the South Bend Parks & Recreation Department has booked some premier blues artists.  The Elwood Splinter's Blues Band, Michael Burkes, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, and Jimmy Thackery & the Drivers will be performing.  Their musical styles represent a range of sounds, drawing from either coast, with a hefty dose of Chicago jazz style thrown in.  A unique aspect of music festivals is the variety of music offered, and if you don't listen to blues much (yes, I'm guilty as charged!), you will likely hear something that you dig.  This lively but laidback musical style might just become part of the summer soundtrack.

In regard to food, variety is again a feature.  Area vendors and restaurants, including Lincolnway Cafe, Hillybilly Deluxe, and Fisher's Tips and Chips, will be selling ribs and other barbeque offerings.  And for those who may not be rib fans, Fiddler's Hearth, Bruno's Pizza, Island Snow, and a beer tent will be offering other forms of nourishment.

Whether it's Rod Piazza's virtuoso harmonica playing or Lincolnway Cafe's smokey ribs that draws you to the riverfront, bring your lawn chair out to the river to celebrate the summer. 

When: Sat., June 11, from 2pm - 10pm.  "Doors" open at noon.
Where: Howard Park
Cost: $16 beforehand, $21 at the door.

Click here for the line-up and to purchase tickets.

Tip: Don't have the bones to buy a tickets?  Set up your feast across the river at the office complex for a DIY festival experience.  But proceed do raise money for building baseball fields at Miracle Park, a proposed complex at Blackthorn for special needs children and adults.

Photos from Saturday:
Big crowds at Howard Park

Jimmy Thackery & the Drivers
View of the stage from the ribs line

The wait: over an hour.... and the ribs: worth it

The aftermath (we were too starved to get any before pictures)

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