Lawrence BBQ and Blues Festival


By Lori Wood

The Friends of Fort Harrison and the City of Lawrence are hosting the fourth annual Fort Ben BBQ and Blues Festival Sept. 17 at Fort Harrison State Park. The festival is free with paid admission to the park. Admission is $7 per ca for Indiana residents and $9 for out-of state-attendees.

Local eateries will be set up and sell food beginning at noon. Participating restaurants include A Taste of Home Cooking, Da Blue Lagoon, MJ’s BBQ, South’s BBQ, The Garrison at the Fort and Moo and Lou’s Frozen Treats.

Free parking is available at the Riddick Shelter grassy area. Cohron Manufactured Homes will operate a shuttle service for the short ride to and from the venue. Cohron has sponsored the event and operated the shuttle every year. Context Design has also been an annual sponsor.

Sponsors and vendor fees fund the event, which has enjoyed attendance growth each year.

“The crowds are growing every year. They come out to hear great music, enjoy great food and gather as the diverse community that is Lawrence,” said Don McQuade, head of special events for the Friends of Fort Harrison. “The City of Lawrence has played a big part in the success of the event as a sponsor, and with Mayor Steve Collier welcoming everyone and introducing the bands.”

Park staff and a core of volunteers from the Friends of Fort Harrison work together in setting up the area tents and bandstand for the event.

Band schedule:

  • 1-2 p.m., John Ford
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m., Queen Delphine and the Crown Jewels
  • 4-5 p.m., King Bee and the Stingers
  • 5:30-7 p.m., The Ambassadors

The Friends of Fort Harrison supports the park with projects and events that preserve, manage and interpret both the natural, cultural and recreational opportunities at Fort Harrison State Park.