Fort Ben BBQ and Blues Fest set for Sept. 14


By Sophie Nulph

The second Fort Ben BBQ and Blues Festival is set for Sept. 14.

Gates open at noon and music lasts until 7 p.m. at the Cherry Tree Root Pavilion in Fort Harrison State Park.

Event Chair Don McQuade said organizers began talking about creating the festival 3 1/2 years years ago.

“McCormick’s Creek State Park has had a blues festival for 10 years this year,” McQuade said. “We thought, you know what, if they can do it, what a great place our park would be to have a blues festival.”

Festival admisstion is free but park admission is $7 for Indiana residents and $9 for out-of-state residents. Season park passes are accepted.

Food will be available for purchase from The Garrison, Wild Boar BBQ and Taste of Home Catering. There also will be a beer garden sponsored by Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier and the City of Lawrence.

Four bands will perform live music.

John Ford will play at 1 p.m., followed by Bill Lancton and Jimmy Davis at 2:30 p.m. Queen Delphine and the Crown Jewels will perform at 4 p.m. King Bee and the Stingers will wrap up the festival beginning at 5 p.m.

“I just love the blues and the performers just get the crowd into it and just play wonderfully and enthusiastically,” McQuade said. “(I) sit back and watch everybody have a great time and enjoy the food.”

Proceeds fund the festival and park maintenance work.