Lebanon Blues Festival expects over 30,000 people this weekend

Presented by the Lebanon Optimist Club, the 19th annual Lebanon Blues Festival is expected to attract 30,000 to 35,000 people to downtown Lebanon on Saturday, Aug. 5.

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“This is the 19th year for the Lebanon Blues Festival. The Lebanon Chamber put it on for the first two years. Then, they contacted our club about taking it over, putting it on and using it as a fundraiser. So, we’ve been involved for 17 years as far as presenting it,” said Ann Smith, chairperson of the Lebanon Blues Festival and charter member of the Lebanon Optimist Club.

The festival, a major fundraiser for the Lebanon Optimist Club, gives back to the community through various programs for youth, including the Warrior BackPack Program, the Children’s Advocacy Center and Bridge Riding for the Disabled, to name a few. With the monies raised, Lebanon Optimist Club funds 37 different programs in the Lebanon-Warren County area.

Smith said everyone in the community gets involved to help make it a successful event. From the sponsors, including LCNB National Bank, the 2017 stage sponsor, and Miami Valley Gaming, the 2017 band sponsor, and other sponsors, to the City of Lebanon and beyond.

“When we make the festival bigger and better and succeed in that, it means the kids in our community are going to benefit from that,” Smith said.

The festival will kick off at 11 a.m., and that’s when the music will start and when the beer garden opens. Eight live bands will play on the stage throughout the day, and into the evening. Featured bands this year include Bob Dellaposta (11 a.m.), The Tempted Souls Band (12:30 p.m.), Sonny Moorman (at 2), The New Royal Blues (3:30), Lisa Biales (5 p.m.), Noah Wotherspoon Band (6:30), Southern Avenue (at 8) and G Miles and The Helping Hands (9:45).

Artist Sonny Moorman said he’s played at the festival several times in the past. He enjoys the setting of downtown Lebanon, the quality sound of the music and spending time with friends.

“I love playing outdoors. At the Lebanon Blues Festival, I get to see a lot of people I know, including other musicians and the fans,” said Sonny Moorman, who will perform a solo, acoustic set.

Other festival highlights will include a classic car show that runs until 5 p.m. So, while there’s music playing on stage, guests can walk up and down Broadway and enjoy seeing over 300 classic cars. Festival food options will be available on Mulberry Street. On Mechanic Street, there are games and activies for children on Kids Row, which is open until 6 p.m.

Another popular feature, The Red Hot Blues Run, a 5k, 10k and 15k and Kids Run organized by the Parks and Recreation Board, will be held in the evening, starting in front of the Golden Lamb. Proceeds from the run will benefit the City's park system. To register, go to www.lebanonohio.gov or at www.speedy-feet.com and click on "races" for a list of upcoming events.

Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com.

How to go

What: Lebanon Blues Festival

When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, rain or shine

Where: Downtown Lebanon

Admission: Free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

More info: www.lebanonbluesfestival.org

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