Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Letter to the Editor 10-8-09

Paoli Sings the Blues . . . a perfect day!
Far from ‘singing the blues’, Paoli was alive and energized for the first ever Paoli Blues Fest this past Saturday. Co-chairing with Marie Thibault, this exciting community event far surpassed our wildest dreams. The day started with threatening dark skies and a weather report to match. The stage crew, tent rental company employees and the fest volunteers worked as the light rain began to fall. As if on cue at noon, as the musicians warmed up, the clouds parted, the sun began to shine, the temperature soared and memories were created.
Working with our fellow Paoli Business & Professional Association members and volunteers over the past year, this event was an opportunity to showcase our hometown spirit and the big heart of the community. With an $8,000 grant from the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau to get us started, we are grateful to the many individuals, businesses and corporate sponsors including Malvern Federal Bank, The Big Easy, Paoli Hardware, Matthews Paoli Ford, Main Line Today, Harvest Financial,, to name a few, who believed in us, our vision and the community.
People arrived by car, by train and on foot to enjoy the special blues bands at the five stages set-up along Lancaster Avenue. Fifteen different bands performed all afternoon at Malvern Federal Bank, Paoli Hardware Center, Paoli Design Center, 1776 Center and the main stage at Paoli Village Shops. It’s hard to have an exact count on how many attended; we know the number was high and in the thousands; streets, sidewalks and parking lots were full and overflowing. With the economic difficulties facing our local business community, the 1st Annual Paoli Blues Fest created an opportunity to introduce our local businesses and give the public a reason to come back to Paoli.
We thank the music committee, the tireless volunteers, the sponsors and most of all we thank the public for spending a magical, special afternoon in Paoli for the first ever Paoli Blues Fest. The memories of this day will last long after the music stopped and I was thrilled to be a part of it!

Pattye Benson
Co-Chair, Paoli Blues Fest
Director, Paoli Business & Professional Association

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