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Hot Blues returns for three days of fun



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June 16, 2010 - No need to drive down south to enjoy the smooth sounds of the blues and the great smoky taste of bar-be-que because those two traditions of the south will invade downtown Oxford this weekend.

Oxford will host numerous blues concerts during the Sixth Annual Hot Blues and BBQ, which will run June 17-19 in Centennial and Scripter parks.

"It's always been a successful event...and it draws people from Ohio, Indiana, the west side of Michigan and Northern Michigan," said Steve Allen, the festival's Executive Director. "We basically get people from all over to drive and see this festival."

There is no charge to attend any of the events, but there is $5 parking fee for Saturday's festivities.

The festivities will get started on Thursday, June 17 in conjunction with Concerts in the Park as the Randy Brock Group will perform beginning at 7 p.m.

On Friday, three bands will showcase their blues talents from 7-10:30 p.m. The first band will feature local Oxford act the Robin Moore Band, followed by 17-year-old Jake Bishop and his band, the Jake Bishop Band. Finally, the Alligators will round out the evening concerts.

Both Thursday and Friday's concerts will take place in Centennial Park, located in downtown Oxford.

Immediately following the concerts in Centennial Park on Friday, the blues will continue as the official Hot Blues and BBQ after party will take place at Casa Real, located at 21 S. Washington St. There, customers and fellow blues lovers will be entertained with the sounds of The Front Street Blues Band.

There is no cover charge to attend the after party.

The festival kicks into high gear on Saturday when it heads over to Scripter Park, 130 Glaspie St., for an all-day event that features 14 bands.

Leading off the festivities at noon on Saturday will be the third round of the Detroit Blues Challenge, which will feature four bands competing to move on to Detroit Blues Challenge Finals in October.

"The winner of the finals is selected to represent Detroit at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee," Allen said.

Upon the completion of the Blues Challenge, the main event will begin at 2 p.m. and run until 12:30 a.m. with 10 bands performing throughout the day.

While listening to the music, the crowd can enjoy the good food from local venders such as the Oxford Tap, Victoria's Delights, 'Wiches and A Familiar Taste and other various vendors. Troy restaurant Rib City will also be at the festival.

Allen said that the food will be "mostly barbecue or barbecue related, along with auxiliary venders with smoothies and desserts and that kind of stuff." In order to purchase food, customers will have to purchase tickets at a dollar a piece, with food being priced in dollar increments, according to Allen.

There will also be a beer garden, with beverages purchased with tickets.

Last year, nearly 7,000 people attended the two-day event. This year, Allen hopes that they can top that number. "We hope to have the biggest turnout yet."

For more information, email info@hotbluesandbbq.com or visit www.hotbluesandbbq.com.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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