(HENDERSON, Ky.) May 23, 2012 – The Henderson Music Preservation Society is proud to present the 22nd Annual W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival during the week of June 9-16 in downtown Henderson, Ky. Over 20 blues performances are scheduled during a weeklong celebration that includes a Street Strut Peoples Parade, The Taste of Henderson Barbecue, Zydeco Night with Red Beans and Rice, and other events. As part of one of the largest free music festivals in the country, Handy events are all offered free of admission.
This year the festival was named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society and a Top 10 Summer Event by the Kentucky Travel Industry Association.
Schedule of Major Festival Events:
Saturday, June 9 – Taste of Henderson Barbecue
10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Central Park, downtown Henderson, Ky.
Local barbecue teams will be cooking up mouth-watering barbecue of mutton, chicken and pork for sale to attendees beginning at 10:00 a.m. until sold out. Children’s inflatable rides available. Music will also be wafting in the cool park air. Artists scheduled to perform are Cole Stevens and Steven Boros, Tee Dee Young, The Boscoe France Band and Them Bones.
Saturday, June 9 – The William Branaman Street Strut Peoples Parade
10:00 a.m. beginning in Central Park
All are invited to participate in the Mardi-Gras style parade in downtown Henderson. Prizes will be awarded to the best strutter, most spirited strutter, best decorated umbrella and best business group.
Monday-Thursday, June 11-14 – Handy Lunch Breaks and Happy Hours
11:45 a.m. at local Henderson eateries
Enjoy live music as you dine in one of Henderson’s many local restaurants. From coffee houses to steakhouses, you’ll find a match up of food and music to delight your tastebuds and your ears. See www.handyblues.org for a full listing of Handy Lunch Breaks and Happy Hours schedules. Free admission.
Wednesday, June 13 – Red, White & Blues Night
5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in Audubon Mill Park.
The main music portion of the festival begins on the Henderson riverfront. Fabulous view of the Ohio River, cool breezes, plenty of shade and some of the best blues musicians around. Children’s Celebration hands on art activities at 6:00. Children’s inflatable rides available. Scheduled performers are the Tee Dee Young, Mark May Band and Mississippi Heat. Free admission.
Thursday, June 14 - Zydeco Night with Red Beans & Rice
4:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in Audubon Mill Park
The Handy Committee will be serving up red beans & rice, andouille sausage and other Cajun favorites. The Bob Minnette and the Dixieland Society will kick off the night with a sassy Zydeco set. Scheduled performers are Mo’ Mojo and Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band. Come early for the food and stay late for high energy zydeco music. Free admission.
Friday, June 15 - Riverbank Blues Blast
Noon to midnight in Audubon Mill Park
All day music in a beautiful relaxing venue, featuring Blues 4U, King Bees, Them Bones, Cash Box Kings, Dana Fuchs and Sonny Landreth. Children’s Harmonica Workshop at 3:00pm at Riverbend Academy. Concessions and children’s inflatable rides available. Free admission.
Saturday, June 16 – Java Blues Jam
Noon to midnight in Audubon Mill Park
All day music in a shady park overlooking the Ohio River, featuring Jimmy Hall Trio, Delta Moon, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, Ruthie Foster Band, Ronnie Baker Brooks and Walter Trout. Concessions and children’s inflatable rides available. Free admission.
For a complete listing of festival events, go to www.handyblues.org or pick up a free festival guide at the Henderson Visitor’s Center, located at 101 N. Water Street on the riverfront.
About the Henderson Music Preservation Society:
Founded to support the W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival in 1991, The Henderson Music Preservation Society, Inc. is tax-exempt, non-profit organization. The society, generous corporate and individual sponsors, as well as volunteers, help keep the W.C. Handy Blue & Barbecue Festival free and open to everyone.
About the W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival:
Now in its 22ndt year, W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival has become one of the largest free music festivals in the nation, drawing attendants from almost every state and many countries. The event is a celebration of the life and legacy of Henderson resident and "Father of the Blues," William Christopher Handy. For more information about the festival go to www.handyblues.org or call 1-800-648-3128.