Marie Thibault

Biggest Party of the Year: Paoli Blues Fest 2012 this Saturday!

I know where I will be this Saturday, do you?  

Billboard on Rt. 202 — Have you seen it?

Serving as co-chair with Marie Thibault for the Paoli Blues Fest, the largest annual blues fest in the Philadelphia region, I am looking forward to our fourth annual blues festival and street fair on Saturday.   Last year an estimated 15,000 people attended and by all accounts, we expect at least that many visitors will enjoy this year’s community event.

We’ve got great musicians playing the blues, 100+ street vendors, beer & wine garden (plus margaritas & daiquiris this year), a special kid zone with lots of fun activities for the little ones, and more fun than Paoli has ever seen. The price of admission … we just ask for a non-perishable donation for the Chester County Food Bank. There will be well-marked containers set-up throughout the blues fest area for your non-perishable donation. Help those less fortunate with your donation in exchange for a day of fun at the Paoli Blues Fest! Help the Blues Fest help others … bring a donation with you!

This remarkable day of great music, food and laughter takes the effort of many people — from the generous sponsors that support us year after year, the organizations that believe in the Paoli Blues Fest and awards us grants, the many volunteers who will help on Saturday and the hardworking efforts of the festival committee, who work year round on the event and are committed to making each year bigger and better than the year before! The Paoli Blues Fest would not be possible without the help and cooperation of many people … for the spirit of community, we thank you all!

Although the Blues Fest hours are noon – 6 PM, the music will kick-off at 11:15 AM with a performance by students from Berwyn’s Music Workshop.  The young musicians will warm-up the audience and help with the sound-check for  festival.  The schedule of bands for the day

Noon:  Midnight Shift

Noon  - Midnight Shift

 Midnight Shift is a high energy band that specializes in what they call Rhythm, Rockin’ Boogie. It’s an infectious blend of blues, jump and rockabilly music.  Midnight Shift is a smoking hot revved up band that plans to be around for years to come.

To hear a preview of Midnight Shift: http://www.myspace.com/mnightshift

1 PM:  Randy Lippincott Band

1:00 PM - Randy Lippincott Band

 The Randy Lippincott Band is a fine tuned five piece unit with many years of experience performing Blues, Boogie, Soul and New Orleans party tunes.The band takes the stage at 1 PM, heating things up with a powerful rhythm section and an exciting harmonica overlay by Joey ‘Hotbox’ Simon.

 For a preview of their music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlmAx1Q_-bY

2 PM:  Porkroll Project

2:00 PM - Porkroll ProjectThe Porkroll Project brings their brand of high energy, contemporary blues to the Paoli Blues Fest  This seasoned group of artists has shared the stage with artists such as Bo Diddley, Los Lobos and Bobby Radcliffe, just to name a few, and played at events such as the Philadelphia Jam on the River and Philadelphia  Folk Festival. Video of live performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL17FC7CE6352C1769&feature=player_embedded&v=SE5sYHEJAfc

3 PM: Georgie Bonds

3:00 PM - Georgie Bonds

 

Blues powerhouse Georgie Bonds is a singer and frontman from Philadelphia’s Germantown.  His powerful and soulful voice, combined the upbeat attitude of his songs, are, as he calls it, “Blues for your soul, soul for your Blues”.

Preview of Georgie Bonds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZp-d0ucaUg&feature=related

 

4 PM: Brooke Shive & The 45’s 

4:00 PM - Brooke Shive & The 45’sBrooke Shive & The 45’s band is a father daughter act composed of Brooke Shive, the fiery vocalist, and her father, the band’s drummer, Steve Shive.  Brooke’s gritty vocals and on-stage presence command attention.  Come see Brooke Shive and the 45’s live!

To hear a preview of Brooke Shive & the 45’s:  http://www.myspace.com/brookeshive

5 PM: Steve Guyger & the Excellos 

5:00 PM - Steve Guyger & The ExcellosClosing out the 2012 Blues Fest is Steve Guyger & the Excellos. Steve Guyger is both a soulful vocalist and a legendary harmonica player.  With the backing of his band, The Excellos, the group packs a powerful and energetic on stage presence that is sure to have you on your feet and dancing.

For a preview of Steve Guyger & the Excellos:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyFf0CvUQ08

 

Hope to see many familiar faces on Saturday for the biggest party that Paoli has ever seen … Paoli Blues Fest 2012!

 

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Santa Arrives Early for Paoli Blues Fest … Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau Awards Festival $10,000 Marketing Grant!

Christmas came early this year for the Paoli Blues Fest!

Paoli Blues Fest, Inc. was notified on Friday that we are a 2012 grant recipient from the Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau Foundation.  The Chester County Commissioners approved the CCCVB recommendations for grant recipients and Commissioner Ryan Costello confirmed the $10,000  award with a personal note of congratulations.

Thank you CCCVB for choosing the Paoli Blues Fest to receive one of the top 2012 marketing awards and thank you to our county commissioners for  approving the recommendations.

This matching fund award for event marketing will guarantee that the fourth annual blues festival and street fair on Saturday, October 6, 2012 will be even bigger and better than previous years!  Below is the press release for the award:

Paoli Blues Fest and Street Fair is Awarded $10,000 as 2012 Grant Recipient from Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau Foundation

Just in time for the holidays, the Chester County Commissioners approved the grant recommendations of the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau Foundation and the Paoli Blues Fest and Street Fair is a 2012 grant recipient.

Co-chairing the annual blues festival and street fair with Marie Thibault, owner of Partners Advertising, the organization is always looking for funding opportunities.  Costs for the annual event are approximately $50K and the country’s economic climate has caused challenges for fund-raising. In addition to funding challenges, the event marketing and marketing costs continue to increase each year, as John Fattibene, partner in Harvest Financial and treasurer of Paoli Blues Fest, Inc. will attest.  Generous support for the Paoli Blues Fest is received from individuals and local company and corporate sponsorships, including Paoli Hospital, Paoli Village Shoppes, Malvern Federal Bank, PECO and WXPN, to name a few.  Additionally, Paoli Blues Fest receives generous advertising from many sources including Main Line Today Magazine, Main Line Neighbors, Main Line Suburban, the Philadelphia Inquirer and County Life Magazine.

Taking on the role of grant writer for Paoli Blues Fest, Inc., I was thrilled when our non-profit organization was awarded a grant in September from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. This prestigious 2012 Philadelphia Arts Alliance award of $2,000 puts the blues festival among the best arts programs and events in the tri-county region. After only three years, the Paoli Blues Fest has grown to be the largest annual blues festival in the greater Philadelphia region with approximately 15,000 people attending in the festival in 2011.

Encouraged by the grant award from the PA Council of the Arts, I applied for a marketing grant from the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau Foundation for the 2012 annual blues festival. The CCCVB contributes half of the collected hotel occupancy tax to the Foundation and this provides the major source of funding for the grant program.  In addition, individuals and corporations also make tax-deductible contributions to the Foundation.

The Chester County Commissioners approved the 2012 grant recommendations of the CCCVB and I received the notice and a personal note of congratulations for the Paoli Blues Fest from County Commissioner Ryan Costello on Friday, December 17.  The CCCVB awarded a total of $163,300 for 2012 capital grants and marketing and event awards to 21 non-profit organizations.  The grants awarded ranged from $800 for the Brandywine Singers to a capital grant of $20,000 to the Schuylkill River Heritage Center for its visitors center.  In the marketing and event category, the Paoli Blues Fest was awarded one of the top honors with a $10,000 grant.

As anyone who has written a grant application knows, the process can be tedious and time-consuming, especially given our current economic climate.  Because of funding challenges, the competition for grant money has become more competitive and the grant requirements more rigorous. The Paoli Blues Fest Board of Directors and committee are overwhelmed by the generous CCCVB award and honored to be chosen as a 2012 recipient.

The fourth annual blues festival and street fair may not be until October 6, 2012 but the planning will begin in January. The committee is a core group of dedicated individuals who meet throughout the year, planning every detail for the one-day event.  The annual blues festival and street fair is a great way to get involved in the community and we are always looking for new volunteers to join us.  Whether it is serving on the festival committee or helping out in the beer and wine garden on the day of the blues festival, there is plenty to do and something for everyone.

If you are interested in helping with the 2012 Paoli Blues Fest and street fair, email Pattye Benson at  tredyffrincommunitymatters@gmail.com or call 610.644.6759.

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2nd Annual Paoli Sings the Blues, Saturday, October 2 — FREE

The countdown is on . . . just a few days remain until the annual blues festival in Paoli.   

Yes, the 2nd Annual Paoli Sings the Blues is this Saturday. Along with Marie Thibault, I am co-chairing the blues festival which is setting itself up as a spectacular event . . . for Paoli, for the small business community and for the public! John Fattibene, our third partner (and financial genius) tells us that we are on target with the budget.  Of course, he also reminds us that the Paoli Blues Fest is continuing to accept contributions and sponsorships right up to Saturday.    

Along with hundreds of volunteers, vendors, musicians, etc. Paoli is the place to be on Saturday. The weather is also getting onboard – 68 degrees under sunny skies! Hope to see you there!   

2nd Annual Paoli Sings the Blues
Saturday, October 2nd   

Noon ’til 6:00 PM
Rain or Shine!   

FREE CONCERTS! Street Fair, food, dancing, Beer Garden, Blues Fest t-shirts $15,  kids’ stuff and lots of music – Paoli will be hummin’, singin’ and swayin’ to the Blues!   

3 Stages!
Main Stage: Paoli Village Shoppes
2 Community Stages: Paoli Shopping Center and Malvern Federal Savings Bank   

For Band Schedule for each Stage go to www.paolibluesfest.com   

The Paoli Blues Fest, Inc. is a registered 501(c) nonprofit organization and your contribution is tax-deductible as the law permits.   

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Main Line Suburban Life Helps get Word out about Paoli Sings the Blues Fundraiser

Thank you Tom Murray, Blair Meadowcroft and the Main Line Suburban Life for helping the Paoli Blues Fest committee get the word out about our upcoming Paoli Sings the Blues Fundraiser on July 30 – we much appreciated the press in this week’s paper.  And thank you Main Line Suburban Life for your sponsorship of the 2nd Annual Paoli Blues Fest!

In addition to great blues music, food and drink . . . the night’s Silent Auction has some fabulous offerings, including Phillies tickets, Antoinette and MediSpa visits, Aronimink golf package with lunch & drinks, and much, much more! 

It’s not too late to get your tickets.  Visit the Paoli Blues Fest website, www.paolibluesfest.com for further details and to purchase a ticket.

 

Paoli’s second Blues Fest to have advance fundraiser

By Blair Meadowcroft

After the success of the first Paoli Blues Fest held last summer, the event has been made an annual one. On Saturday, Oct. 2, Paoli will be taken over by blues musicians and music-lovers alike. From noon to 5 p.m., live music, a street fair, vendors of all varieties and activities for children will be in three areas. Stages will be set at the Paoli Shopping Center and Malvern Federal Bank and the main stage will be at Paoli Village Shoppes.

According to event co-chair Pattye Benson, the expected amount of attendees could be 10,000 people. “This was the largest blues festival in the Philadelphia region last year,” said Benson. “There was an excess of 5,000 in attendance.”

To prepare for this year’s Blues Fest, there will be a “Paoli Sings the Blues” fund-raiser Friday, July 30, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Royer-Greaves School, 118 S. Valley Road in Paoli. The purpose of the event, according to Benson, is twofold.

“We’re hoping this will be financially helpful for the Blues Fest, but we also hope to get people really energized for this year’s event,” said Benson. “We’re having shirts printed to sell at the fund-raiser. Hopefully people will wear them and get the word out about the event.”

The fund-raiser will consist of live music by PokerFace as well as guest Russ Lambert of the Dance Shaker Band. Alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks will be available, and the food, which is being provided by Bridgeport Ribhouse, will be Southern-style barbecue chicken and ribs.

In addition, guests can participate in a silent auction with items such as Phillies tickets and gift certificates to local shops and restaurants. Tickets are $45 and for sale at the Paoli Blues Fest Web site, www.paolibluesfest.com. All proceeds from the fund-raiser will benefit this year’s Blues Fest.

The Paoli Blues Fest was started after a recommendation from local blues musicians.
“A couple of musicians came to the Paoli Business Association and suggested it would be a great idea to have a blues festival as a means of trying to excite and inspire the Paoli community,” said Benson, a member of the Paoli Business Association. “We felt this could be a real feel-good community event that could spur local business sales.”

While last year’s event was held under the auspices of the Paoli Business Association, it was decided that it needed to be its own entity. According to Benson, the Paoli Blues Fest Inc. recently received 501c3 nonprofit designation, which makes donations tax-deductible as permitted by law. “We were so excited. This is a huge deal and an enormous validation for this event,” said Benson.

Many businesses as well as individuals are helping to make sure this year’s Blues Fest goes off without a hitch. With a budget of $40,000, a lot of work from many volunteers goes into securing the necessary finances. Among this year’s sponsors are Paoli Hospital, Malvern Federal Bank, Paoli Hardware, Main Line Today, Main Line Suburban Life and TD Bank.

“Every sponsor from last year is sponsoring this year and more,” said Benson. “And we’re hoping the fund-raiser will help financially as well.” Along with the sponsors, many of the same musicians from last year will be performing, along with some fresh faces. “Because of the success of the inaugural event, we started receiving musicians’ CDs from all over the country,” said Benson. “One came from as far as California.”

Benson went on to explain that at 4 p.m. on the day of the Blues Fest the two smaller stages will close and the main stage will host all performers for one final joint set. “They have a special song that they have all learned and will perform,” said Benson.

While it is a lot of work to make sure this event goes off as planned, Benson, along with co-chair Marie Thibault, said they do it for the community.

“This event is successful in bringing the community together, which is one of the things Marie and I do best,” said Benson. “People set aside differences to come together and work on this project, and it gets people from the community together.”

 

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Paoli Sings the Blues Fundraiser on Friday, July 30 — You are Invited!

 

Based on the success of last year’s Paoli Blues Fest, the committee decided to move ahead and make the free community event an annual event.  We have scheduled the 2nd Annual Paoli Blues Fest for Saturday, October 2 and the volunteers have been busy lining up blues bands, sponsors, street fair vendors, etc.  The board of directors of the Paoli Blues Fest applied for, and the IRS recently awarded us with 501(c)3 status which makes all donations tax-deductible as the law permits.

Last year, 5000+ people from Paoli and beyond attended the blues festival and this year we are expecting the 2nd annual event to far exceed that number.  As you can imagine, the budget for a major community event is not without expenses.  While we are grateful to the many sponsors, including Paoli Hospital, Paoli Hardware, Penn Liberty Bank, Malvern Federal Bank, to name but a few, we decided a summer Paoli Sings the Blues fundraiser would help kick-off the Paoli Blues Fest and help us raise funds for the free blues fest in October.

The Paoli Sings the Blues fundraiser is scheduled for July 30th and will be held at the historic Royer-Greaves School on N. Valley Road in Paoli.  The event will provide a wonderful preview night of blues music with PokerFace, finger-lickin barbeque, silent auction and lots of fun and laughter.  Visit www.paolibluesfest.com for information about the fundraiser and the 2nd Annual Paoli Blues Fest.  Tickets for the fundraiser can be ordered online or click here for thePaoli Sings the Blues Fundraiser Ticker Order Form.

Co-chairing the Paoli Sings the Blues fundraiser and the 2nd Annual Paoli Blues Fest with Marie Thibault – we understand the success of any event is about the volunteers and we thank them.  We appeal to you to help us – help the community – by purchasing a ticket to the fundraiser.  We also need volunteers for the fundraiser and many, many volunteers for the blues fest in October.  If you would like to join the Paoli Blues Fest Committee, help with the fundraiser  or if you have any questions, please contact me at  tredyffrincommunitymatters@gmail.comOn behalf of the Paoli Blues Fest committee, thank you for your support!

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Frozen Custard, Italian Market, Gourmet Coffee, Seafood, Burgers & Fries . . . Fewer Empty Storefronts in Paoli!

Last week State Representative Paul Drucker announced $1 million from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program for the Paoli Transportation Center.  This money represents a first step in this major land development project and we’re looking forward to the project getting in to full swing!

In addition to the transportation center funding news, it is exciting to see other positive signs of growth in Paoli.  Under the leadership of Judy Huey and her brother Rob DiSerafino, Paoli Village Shoppes has become the centerpiece of Paoli.  Their creative planning and vision for the future has set the standard for Paoli.  Unlike other shopping locations on Lancaster Avenue, you rarely see an empty storefront or a  ‘for lease’ sign at this location. 

 As space become available in Paoli Village Shoppes, there seems to be a new tenant waiting in the wings to take the empty spot.  Jake’s, a cute frozen custard place is opening next to the Penn Liberty Bank.  Not a traditional ice cream shop, Jake’s is  fashioned after a Wisconsin Custard Stand with a menu anchored by “made fresh daily” Wisconsin Style Frozen Custard.  Jake’s plans to be open by late summer! Another new addition coming to the Paoli Village Shoppes will be Martini’sAn obvious throwback to the DiSerafino Italian heritage, many of us are anxious to have an Italian market in our own backyard.  (BTW – I understand that the owner of Martini’s Italian  Market in Paoli Village Shoppes is the son of the owners of the old Martini’s Restaurant that was on Lancaster Ave.  in Devon for many years).

Seafood USA in Paoli is now open and I understand has great crab legs and shrimp cocktail!  Across from Seafood USA, the old Fellini’s restaurant (which unfortunately closed under Chapter 11),  I see has a  new banner advertising Grappa Cafe hanging across the doorway.  Not sure what kind of food this new BYOB will be serving — I peeked in the window and it looks like new construction is underway.

Paoli Shopping Center has been challenged in today’s economy – they currently seem to have a number of empty storefronts.  Many in the community were disappointed when the ice cream shop, Stone Cold Creamery closed their doors . . . but there’s a new banner, Ashys Burger & Fries, hanging over that storefront. Not sure what to expect from Ashys, other than burgers and french fries; also no indication as to opening date . . . stay turned.

Whirled Peace, q new fun frozen yogurt place with outdoor seating,  has opened on Lancaster Ave. at the former site of Rita’s Water Ice.  Opening just in time for our summer heat wave, Whirled Peace is setting itself apart from more traditional ice cream/frozen yogurt places — they have 4 flavors of frozen yogurt and twists with tons of toppings but it’s a do-it-yourself operation. At the counter you weigh your creation, pay and they hand you a spoon. As a FYI,  be careful with how many toppings you add; I witnessed the surprise expression of a customer’s $8 ice cream! 

I hope that I have encouraged you to pay a visit to Paoli . . . these small business owners are taking a chance and opening up their eaterys along this section of Lancaster Avenue and need our support!

When talking about Paoli, I’d be remiss not to mention one of Paoli’s most vocal cheerleaders!  Always positive and enthusiastic, . .  the face (and voice) behind a lot of the new exciting changes in Paoli is Marie Thibault.  A long-standing Paoli homeowner and business owner, Marie served as the president of Paoli Business & Professional Association for the last 2 years.  Although Marie’s term as president ended in June, her vision and tireless dedication that Paoli be  ‘all that it can be’ will remain her legacy.

Full disclosure — Marie and I are close friends and together co-chaired the Paoli Sings the Blues, Paoli’s first bluesfest community event held last October.  Successful beyond our wildest expectations with 5,000+ attendees, we are well underway in planning the 2nd Annual Paoli Blues Fest scheduled for October 2, 2010.  As part of our fundraising efforts for the annual blues fest, we have scheduled a Paoli Sings the Blues fundraiser for July 30, 7-10 PM at Royer-Greaves School on N. Valley Rd. in Paoli – I will post the invitation and details tomorrow. 

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