What a weekend of top-notch Blues, cajun and zydeco music in Franklin's Bandstand Park. The weather was near perfect and the crowds were certainly big. With the hundreds or thousands who came, spent money on shirts and cold drinks, they got more than just a nice outdoor festival od music, they got a chance to make a difference.
Money raised by the Franklin Blues and Barbecue committee is doled right back out into the community in the form of gifts to help local music programs. According to Chip Abromovic they've handed out around $40,000 since they began. They gave around $10,000 out just this weekend.
Even a call made just a few days before the festival from a local band director led to the purchase of a French Horn for the Valley Grove School District.
They also gave money to the Franklin High School Jazz Band who performed Sunday afternoon with local blues guitar player Max Schang sitting in with them as well as Pittsburgh Blues singer Miss Freddie.
A common thing from organizers is the phrase "that's why we're doing this." Each year the festival, now in it's eighth year, they try to answer the needs of music programs with shrinking funds from school boards.
The importance of music education is echoes by the performers and the crowd seems to agree. Around 250 t-shirts were sold. Every dollar from the sales goes towards to pot of money they have to give to local programs. Organizer Jeff Hufnagel told the crowd that a sponsor buys the shirts upfront so the profits can go to the kids.
They also sell pop and water during the festival in order to give even more to the kids.
Hufnagel said they really hope to help all music programs in Venengo County in some way. He said they have been happy to help three of the four school districts so far.
Below are some more photos from Sunday's performances.
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