Attendees at the Bruce Telecom Lighthouse Blues Festival were happily singing the blues on Sept. 10-12, as a modified and safe version of the festival returned to Kincardine.
It was a weekend chock full of entertainment and activities for visitors. On Friday and Saturday evening, a ticketed event on the main stage featured a lineup of some of the most renowned artists in the blues industry. Saturday during the day, at the BIA Street Festival, live music was performed in four downtown venues at no charge and a singer/songwriter workshop was offered. In Victoria Park, youth were invited to take part in a variety of activities in the Kids Zone. A waterfront community fireworks display, hosted by the Canada Day committee, had to be postponed due to strong winds. The display has been rescheduled for Sat. Sept. 25.
The weekend closed with a free gospel performance featuring Brontae Hunter, Thales Hunter, The Hunter Family and Alfie Smith & Nicole Christian on Sunday morning in the Victoria Park gazebo.
The festival was cancelled in 2020 because of pandemic restrictions. In 2021, organizer Rick Clarke opted to postpone the festival’s July date to mid-September, with the hope that restrictions would lift as vaccination rates climbed. After consultation with public health, Clarke and the board of directors made the decision to go forward with the festival, with pandemic safeguards in place.
“A community event to be successful like the Blues Festival has so many components , so many details, that require attention and execution, it takes a lot of people to come together wanting it to succeed,” said Clarke. “We have a great board of directors that spend a year planning and putting those details in order and then a team of hard working volunteers spend that week addressing each and every one of them. We thank the Kincardine & District Lions Club and the Bruce County Blues Society for providing us with enthusiastic and hardworking volunteers every festival. And of course a successful festival needs many community partners so a huge thank out to all our funding partners and sponsors including Bruce Telecom, CUSW, The Municipality of Kincardine and Kincardine BIA. While we all be a bit weary today, I know we’ll all be in place for July 8, 9, 10, 2022.”
The Lighthouse Blues Festival has been the recipient of multiple top 100 Festivals & Events Ontario awards and is a prominent driver of tourism dollars into the area.
A portion of the revenue generated by the festival is directed back into the community. The festival supports local charity groups as well as the Blues in the Schools program.
Tammy Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent