Despite the wreckage to the Port St. Joe downtown business sector from Hurricane Michael, the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce had its sights on March.
The Chamber, undergoing an in-house and operating renovation as the storm, will bring the popular “Blues in the Lot” to Reid Ave. March 22.
The two-day event will feature a series of blues bands during a Friday evening showcase and Saturday afternoon’s main event.
“People really wanted (the event) and our board is really invested in it,” said Lorinda Gingell, currently the Chamber’s public face after the top two directors were displaced by Michael.
“We have a lineup, we have vendors, we’ve added barbecue. It should be a lot of fun.”
As with last year, the stage will be at Third Street and Reid, with Reid closed to vehicular traffic between Second and Fourth Streets.
That will be the case for Friday’s “blues al fresco” and Saturday’s full afternoon of blues, which kicks off at 12 p.m. ET.
The “al fresco” event, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, was originally to take place on the stage at the Port Theatre.
But damage to the theater put that aside and the concept is now an outdoor concert featuring Brett Wellman and the Stone Cold Blues Band.
There will be a $5 cover charge.
“It is an outdoor event so (entry) is difficult to control, so we know not everybody will pay the cover charge,” said Adrianna Glass, who is handling publicity for the event.
“Whatever money we make on Friday will be gravy.”
Saturday’s line-up includes Blues Mama Blues Band, Shaw Davis and The Black Ties, Dirty Bird and the Flu, John Sutton Band and headliner Brandon Santini and his band.
Saturday’s entry is free.
In addition, there will be vendors and sidewalk sales and award-winning barbecue.
“It is the same set-up as last year and it was a super event last year,” Gingell said. “Overall, the estimated crowd, including Friday and Saturday, was 2,500 to 3,000. That is pretty good.”
“Blues in the Lot” was an annual staple of Apalachicola for 15 years before partnering last year with the Chamber of Commerce to bring the event to Port St. Joe.
Sponsors for “Blues in the Lot” are Sand Dollar Café, BCC Waste Solutions, F&B Builders, Centennial Bank, Joe Mama’s, Port Wine and Spirits, Dream Vacations, St. Joe Bar and Package, St. Joe Pool, Port Cottages, Port Theatre, GW Services, MainStay Suites, Guerry and Susan Magidson, Bradley’s Automatic Gates and Fences, Emerald Coast Credit Union and Spartan Stoneworks.
For more information visit www.GulfChamber.org or the Blues in the Lot page on Facebook.