Courtesy of the Mecosta County Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Big Rapids Lions Club and the Mecosta County Convention & Visitors Bureau, are excited to be bringing back the very popular and very exciting Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival to the downtown Big Rapids Bandshell on Saturday, July 6, 2019.
“The Mecosta County CVB is always looking for new and exciting ways to not only continue generating positive awareness of the greater Big Rapids community, but to also gain more business at our area hotels and local merchants,” stated Connie Koepke – Executive Director for the Mecosta County CVB. “Partnering and collaborating with local businesses and community organizations is definitely key in reaching this goal. With the partnership of the Big Rapids Lions Club and Mecosta County CVB for the Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival, we are not only providing a positive and fun filled event for locals and out of town guests but we are also creating a great fundraising opportunity for the Lions Club and the amazing charities they help to support.”
“We have finished securing our musical lineup for the day and it is nothing short of spectacular,” stated Jim Nostrant of the Big Rapids Lions Club. This is going to be a great opportunity to get out and enjoy a day full of family, friendly entertainment while also helping to support the Big Rapids Lions Club and their mission.”
This amazing day of musical entertainment will start off with a salute to our dedicated military personnel who have, or are currently, serving in our armed forces. A Flag Presentation and Dedication of the Colors will be made by the Big Rapids AMVETS post 1941 with the National Anthem being sung by local talent Allison Leveque.
“Following the dedication to our veterans, guests will find a full day of non-stop, awarding winning musical entertainment that can be enjoyed by all ages. Of course, there will also be plenty of Brews and BBQ available as well,” noted Nostrant.
The lineup for the day includes the Ohio based Soul Men with backup band Paradise that will serve as the events MC’s while adding their own unique flavor of entertainment. The Soul Men, Blues Brothers impersonators, perform their tribute to Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues with their high-energy, fast-paced and audience participating routines. Paradise is a Michigan premiere “all event” six piece band that blend perfectly with the Soul Men’s performance.
Popular and local musical group, the Z Darrell Marvel Band, featuring Big Rapids own Z. Darrell Marvel and his group of local and talented musicians, will be playing Bluesy renditions of your favorite classic tunes.
Chicago Rock and Blues singer, Lauren Wolf and The Lauren Wolf Band, are everything that made pure rock artists like Janis Joplin timelessly successful. The Lauren Wolf Band were winners of the 2012 Live Nation’s National Battle of the Bands and have played to sold out crowds at famous venues such as The House of Blues in Chicago.
Rick Hicks and the Rick Hicks Blues Band from Muskegon will be providing a flavorful mix of Blues and Motown sounds perfect for dancing the afternoon away. This versatile guitarist and vocalists preforms in the styles of BB King, Wes Montgomery and Albert King. Rick and his band are a mix of high-energy Blues, Funk, Soul, Motown, Jazz and yes, a little bit of Rock and Roll.
Rounding out the evening will be the internationally known and award winning Blues performer Sharrie Williams. Known as “The Princess of Rockin Gospel Blues”, Williams has to her credit Five Albums, performed in over 30 countries, is the recipient of the Academie du Jazz Blues Album of the year award as well as being noted as one of the greatest living voices in music such as the likes of Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Pattie LaBelle and Natalie Cole.
Tickets will be available for purchase starting May 1, 2019 either online at $13.00 each or from local businesses such as the Mecosta County CVB or any Big Rapids Lions Club member at $12.00 each. Children 10 years and younger will be free. Tickets will available the day of the event for $15.00 per person. For more information, visit bigrapids.org/bluesfest