By Cherie Robbins & Greg Johnson
Now in its fourth year, the Winter Blues Festival has certainly seen a fair share of changes within its growth. With humble beginnings born in a discussion over a glass of wine, it has taken on its own persona as the “Go To” event of the dreary days of winter. And it will all happen on Saturday, March 14.
New this year is the location. Moving to the Milwaukie Elks Lodge, 13121 SE McLoughlin Blvd, the venue will offer several great assets for a growing event, including two stages with large dance floors, a full service bar and food menu, on-site parking and access by a near-by bus line.
The line-up for this year’s event is also stellar, featuring the exciting sound of Texas blues courtesy of 4-time Blues Music Awards nominees Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King headlining the festival. Also performing at the Winter Blues Festival will be Northwest favorites, Junkyard Jane, The Ted Vaughn Band, J.R. Sims & Texas Special Blues, Bottleneck Blues Band, and 2015 International Blues Challenge finalists Ben Rice & Lucy Hammond. Plus, do not miss out on a special set from United By Music North America, a performance-based entertainment group for musically talented people who have developmental delays and intellectual challenges. Winter Blues Music Festival is excited to have this exceptionally talented band at the festival this year, led by the Dave Fleschner Band. (www.UBMNA.org)
Over the years, Winter Blues has helped many charities including C.H.A.P. (Children’s Healing Arts Project), the Oregon Food Bank, and this year, United By Music North America.
For those attending the festival from out of town, there are a number of motels nearby the Elks Lodge on McLoughlin Blvd., including the Milwaukie Inn, Econo Lodge, Travel Lodge and Best Western. There is also dry camping available at the Elks Lodge.
It all happens Saturday, March 14, starting at 3:00 pm, doors open at 2:30 pm. Tickets are available in advance through TicketTomato.com. General admission is $20.00, $10.00 for children 13-18. Other special rates include dry camping for $20.00, Early Admission $55.00 (includes entry for two with camping) and Supporter tickets for $125.00 (includes 2 tickets, 2 beverages, 2 meals, 2 raffle tickets, 2 festival shirts).
For further information and tickets, please visit www.winterbluesfest.net.