By Charlene Hoeflich
July 30, 2013
POMEROY — Hundreds of fans filled Pomeroy’s parking lot on both Friday and Saturday nights for the annual Blues Bash … where the music started early and didn’t stop until after midnight.
The fans, some from as far away as Florida, arrived early and stayed late so as not to miss any part of what has become one of southeastern Ohio’s biggest musical events. Not only was every parking place in town taken by blues fans, but the dock was filled with boats of people despite the high and murky water of the Ohio.
Both days were a bit cloudy, but the temperature was neither too cold nor too hot for the fans. Many had apparently checked the weather because they came with their umbrellas for protection from the occasional sprinkle. While many brought along comfortable chairs, others preferred perching on the parking lot wall while relaxing with a drink of choice to listen to the music, or just stretching out on one of the promenade benches. One guy sitting on the wall described the music as “just the best” and said he comes year after year and always leaves wanting more.
For Jackie Welker, president of the Pomeroy Blues and Jazz Society which sponsors the event, it was “a real success.”
He said the base of local fans who prefer something different than pure blues, like classic rock, filled the parking lot Friday night making it a record crowd. On the other hand Saturday’s music was pure blues and appealed to a different crowd, many of whom came from out of town, and again the crowd was tremendous.
The Blues School for Kids was held again this year in the Court Street mini-park under the direction of Todd Burge, professional instrumentalist/singer of West Virginia. The children were given a light luncheon which they enjoyed as Burge and his daughter entertained, and then they went into the blues school (a blanket on the ground under a tent) where they were taught funny songs, how to move with music, and basic kazoo skills. In conclusion, they moved to the big stage on the parking lot where they entertained an appreciative crowd with the skills they learned in the workshop on music appreciation.
Welker described the Blues Bash as a financial success, “paying all the bills, enough to pay for the next two Friday night shows (free to the public)and having a little left over to be used to start out next year.
“A lot of the credit goes to the sponsors, who really step up to the plate, and we couldn’t do it without that support,” he concluded.