Far from ‘singing the blues’, Paoli is preparing to come alive on Saturday for the third annual blues festival and street fair. In three short years, the Paoli Blues Fest has grown into the largest annual blues festival in the greater Philadelphia region. We are expecting 15,000 people to enjoy the blues music, family entertainment, over 100 vendors with everything from jewelry to barbecue and a beer and wine garden.
At dawn on Saturday, the main stage for the Paoli Blues Fest will go up at Paoli Village Shoppes. This year, the blues festival is taking over the entire parking area of the center, and filling it with seating, vendors and more fun than Paoli has ever seen! Across Lancaster Avenue, the ‘Baby Blues’ stage at Malvern Federal Bank will feature music and entertainment for families. Face painting, crafts, a moon bounce, animals from Elmwood Zoo and much, much more are sure to entertain the kids!
Although Paoli Blues Fest officially begins at noon, the day will kick-off with young musicians from Berwyn School of Rock at 11:15 AM. They will warm up the early pre-opening crowd and help with the sound checks while getting the vendors ‘in the mood’ as they set-up.
Top blues bands performing at the blues festival start at 12 noon with David Coppa & Scrapple, followed by Angel Blue Band, Russ Lambert & the Shakedancer Band, Scoville Band, Deb Callahan Band and closing out the day with a 5 PM performance by Mickey Jr. The musicians will have their CDs available at the Fest information booth. Blues fest volunteers will be selling festival t-shirts, raffle tickets and 50/50 tickets at the information booth.
The Paoli Blues Fest is a free community event – our only request is a non-perishable food donation for REACT, our local food bank. Look for REACT containers throughout the festival. Beyond the dedication of the Paoli Blues Fest volunteers, this event would not be possible were it not for the support from our sponsors. To name a few – Paoli Hospital, WXPN, Malvern Federal Bank, Paoli Village Shoppes, Main Line Today, Paoli Print, Main Line Neighbors, County Lines, Main Line Media News, Spark Net Technologies, Social Media HQ and PECO. The full list of sponsors is available on our website, www.paolibluesfest.com.
We were thrilled to learn this week that the Paoli Blues Fest has been awarded a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts – Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance 2011-12 grant. Although I was hopeful when I wrote the grant application, with the many arts and music festivals and organizations in Pennsylvania, I certainly wasn’t confident. Finding out about the award just days before the Blues Fest, has just added to the excitement!
This is one of those ‘not to be missed’ special community events – the day promises great music, fun and magic! Hope to see you Saturday!