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|President’s Welcome to the 2005 IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival|
|Music - Feature Stories|
|Written by Robert W. Covemaker|
|Tuesday, 28 June 2005 18:00|
Hello and welcome to the 21st Annual I.H. Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. As is apparent from the name, the biggest change for this year will be the addition of “I.H.” to our festival name. This addition of course stands for the I.
H. Mississippi Valley Credit Union, which has come on board as a major sponsor. They have committed not only to this year’s fest, but the 2006 and 2007 fests as well. We welcome the support of such a family-oriented organization and hope that you, the fest-goer, will support them as well.
Along with I.H., we would not be where we are today without our other important sponsors, such as the Scott County Regional Authority, which is helping to fund some of the educational programming, and the Riverboat Development Authority, which has supported our festival for many years and has now committed to funding our educational programs throughout the upcoming year. Also I would like to thank the Illinois Arts Council for the ongoing support we receive from them that keeps our doors open. No less important are all of the other sponsors who have helped our festival in so many ways, and I encourage you to thank them personally. A complete listing can be found on page 19 of this festival guide.
While these sponsors are the ones who make the fest financially possible, it is the festival volunteers who make this event physically possible. Without them we could not present the quality show we do at such an affordable price. Space will not permit me to list them all, so a simple “Thank you one and all” to the volunteers must suffice.
As a volunteer myself, I would like to add that for many of us our main reward for our work is to see that you, the blues fans, are not only entertained by but educated about this American music called the blues. Therefore, please take the time to check out our many features. By all means enjoy our two main stages and make time to check out our free photo exhibit at Union Station. Just west of there, you can experience the free workshops, where entertainers don’t take American Express but they do take questions. Back inside the grounds, fans of all ages will be sure to enjoy our BlueSKool brought to you by our Educational Department, which just this year was nominated for a Keeping the Blues Alive award.
In closing I can only summarize by saying: “Have a safe and fun-filled festival and holiday weekend.”
Robert W. Covemaker, Mississippi Valley Blues Society president
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