Friday, September 21 began as another sunny and cool Columbia morning, promising a perfect setting for the 2012 Roots and Blues BBQ Fest. Located in Downtown Columbia, Missouri, the annual festivities spanned nearly 12 city blocks and two city parks. A crowd estimated at 60,000 people arrived by cars, trucks, motor homes and with bbq wagons. As the day began, the setup of the BBQ stations provided the smell of hickory, maple and spices filling the air, while employees and volunteers worked non-stop, but cheerfully, in preparation for one of the district’s most-anticipated special events.
The Roots and Blues BBQ Fest first began as a milestone celebration for the Boone County National Bank’s 150th anniversary in 2007. The event marked a dual accomplishment of making a special event an annual must-see event. This was exactly what the charming college town of Columbia needed for its rich arts community, which drew local families, as well as residents from across Mid-Missouri.
The careful event planning by Betsy Farris and Thumper Entertainment came together exactly as expected:
“We have witnessed this city come together like nothing we ever imagined. We deeply
appreciate the support from all the city departments, the University of Missouri, the District businesses, and most of all, our fans.” ~ Richard King and Steve Sweitzer~
Giving back to the community is a primary purpose of the festival. One of the beneficiaries is the “Blues in the Schools” Music Education program, funded in part from proceeds generated by the Roots and Blues BBQ Fest. With that as a goal, broadening music education and cultural views in the minds and hearts of our youth ensures a bright, creative future for all children. Our musical heritage is something that forms roots for all to grow on.
As President of Thumper Entertainment Betsy Farris works endlessly to ensure each year a greater more intimate touch has been given to the Roots and Blues BBQ Fest with the people and benefit at heart.
Learn more about it at: BLUES IN THE SCHOOLS: www.rootsnbluesnbbq.com/blues-in-the-schools
Music Line up:
In the years before, legendary Roots and blues artists such as Dr. Ralph Standly , Sam Bush,Taj Mahal, Booker T, The Del McCoury Band, and many others have graced the stages of the Roots and Blues BBQ Fests. This year 2012 represented another powerful music scene with entertainment by the Rev. Al Green, Marty Stuart, Wanda Jackson, Sam Bush, Sara Watkins,John Mayall, and more, each of them legends in their own rights.
On Friday Marty Stuart graced the Missouri Lotto Stage following Rodriguez and Joe Lovano us five stating,
“I am impressed by the diversity of talent at this event, I am truly excited to be here”
Exciting it was, on the Missouri Lotto stage on Saturday as a witty, fun-loving greeter in charge.The Queen of Rock and Roll, Miss Wanda Jackson, came up swinging, reminiscing from her first hits such as,
“Since I Met You Baby,” “Cowboy Yodel,” “Empty Arms,” “Rock Your Baby,” and other favorites.
Character, atmosphere, and a universal welcome was the festival’s primary theme throughout the weekend, from the fans to the city workers, Columbia’s arts district was one large family reunion. You can always count on events produced by Thumper Entertainment production as Farris along with Patty and Richard King and Polly and Steve Sweitzer know exactly how to make you feel at home. A kind word, friendly hug and feeling of belonging moved through the crowds as it does across all venues where they stage events.
“Always count on a warm welcome and sincere smile from Thumper Entertainment, creating events with ‘you’ in mind. We always enjoy attending any of their events. Their kindness and hospitality is unmatched and believe they’ve set an industry standard to be emulated for years to come.”
This year’s VIP section was really superb. With a whole hog provided by Happy Hollow Farms, prepared and served by Broadway Brewery of Downtown Columbia, Harpo’s bellied up to the table with beef brisket and all the fixin’s, serving cobbler and Sparky’s homemade ice cream, another signature Thumper Entertainment treat. Polly Sweitzer filled the area with laughter, hugs, and smiles that were shared across all her co-workers, volunteers, and fans. You went home feeling like you’d been to the “best family reunion anywhere,” that is, until next year!