Once again the Mississippi Valley Blues Society is writing to thank this community for its support of the 17th BluesFest. More than 400 volunteers worked during the three-day event on July 6, 7, and 8, and another 55 volunteers worked on 10 committees all year long to bring off this year's festival. A few wrinkles emerged along the way ... such as the flooding of the Mississippi River in April and May necessitating the relocation of the entire festival a half-block north into the Freight House and Florian Keen parking lots. We especially thank the Farmer's Market for vacating its space on Saturday, July 7, to accommodate this year's festival, and Larry Whitty of Happy Joe's for use of the Freight House parking lot.

Our thanks are extended to the Riverboat Development Authority, our most faithful sponsor, Rhythm City Casino, the Iowa and Illinois arts councils, the City of Davenport, and the radio stations KUNI, KALA, WOC, and WXLP. Also thanks to the River Center/Adler Theatre and the Radisson Hotel for the generous offers when the flood first hit us. Great technical support from River Cities Sound and Frank Holst's capable team ensured the sound was perfect on all four stages throughout the weekend. Musicians and visitors alike commented on the warm, down-home atmosphere and how friendly folks are here in the Quad Cities.

Even Mother Nature cooperated with perfect weather on Friday and Saturday. A deluge at noon on Sunday might have drowned the site, but not the enthusiasm of fans who re-appeared by 4 p.m. to enjoy music (along with cooler temperatures) right on through the evening.

Besides two main stages featuring 30 bands over the three days, this year marked the third year for BlueSKool, the children's area presented with MidCoast Fine Arts, and the 11th year for educational workshops. Union Station hosted photography, a logo contest, and a newly minted museum-quality exhibit describing each of the RiverRoad Lifetime Achievement Award winners. The exhibit is available to travel, and we hope you'll call 32-BLUES to request it for your event or meeting.

In case you missed the festival, KUNI will be re-playing portions all year long. Check their program guide for details. We are already making plans for next year's festival on July 5, 6, and 7. Mark your calendars. We hope to see you there.

Steve Brundies,
President, Mississippi Valley Blues Society

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