First Stafford Springs Blues Festival coming to town Aug. 10

By Kitty LeShay - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Wed., Jul. 31, 2013
Josh Scussel & the Rude Blues Band are scheduled to play at Hyde Park at 1 p.m. during the first Stafford Springs Blues Festival on Aug. 10. Courtesy photos. - Contributed Photo

When the organizers and sponsors got together recently at the Middle Ground Café to discuss the Aug. 10 Stafford Springs Blues Festival, the excitement was contagious. Neil Hoss, a selectman in Stafford, has been dreaming of organizing such a festival for a long time. “I’m a blues fan. We are bringing some great, nationally-known names such as James Montgomery to this event,” he said.

“The Blues Festival is a fundraiser for an amphitheater in Hyde Park which will serve as a stage for summer concerts and other entertainment events,” said co-organizer Georgia Michalec.

Ali Kaufman, also known as “Morning Mojo" from WCNI 99.9 FM, will be the MC of the festival. “This will be an inaugural fest. People who attend will support live music, help build the amphitheater, and see world-class musicians,” she said. “Tickets for this event are an incredible price.”

Music gets underway in Hyde Park at noon with 13th Step, a blues rock trio from Stafford, and finishes in the park venue with James Montgomery at 5 p.m. Four other bands are also scheduled to play. Dan Stevens, a well-known blues musician, who has performed in Stafford frequently, will perform classic and traditional tunes between performances in the park.

The festival moves to the Palace Theatre at 7:15 p.m., with AJ Jansen opening for Christine Ohlman, a nationally-renowned queen of rock and roll and a member of the “Saturday Night Live” band.

Ticket prices for the outdoor music in Hyde Park are $15, and tickets for the Palace events are $20, with a combination price of $25 for the first 200 tickets sold. Rain moves the Blues Festival to the Palace Theatre for the entire day.

American Sleeve Bearings is a big sponsor of this event, as well as Harley Davidson, TTM technologies, American General Contracting and North Central News. “We welcome additional sponsors,” Michalec said.

More information can be found on the Stafford Springs Blues Festival’s Facebook page.

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