Graphic by Madison Dean
Blues is a popular type of music that all sorts of groups enjoy listening to, with large audiences gathering to hear any major performances available, or at least that was the case prior to COVID.
Thankfully, for all the blues-listeners out there, there is another event coming soon and it’s going to be a big one.
The Spirit of Kansas Blues Festival is coming up this week on July 4 and promises to be one of the best times a blues-listener can have this year.
The event will take place at the Reynolds Lodge at Lake Shawnee and will go from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Performers range from The Color Guard and Dennis Rodger to Mike Zito and The Big Band.
The Spirit of Kansas Blues Festival is run by The Topeka Blues Society. They set this festival up each year on the Fourth of July and are able to run the event completely free due to charitable donations from fans.
Much of the rest of their year is spent organizing other events, raising money for more performances and promoting other musical groups.
“[We’ve been doing this] since 2008, about 13 years,” said Steve Tate, a board member of the Topeka Blues Society. “[It takes a] lot of work, it takes a lot of cash too.”
Gerry Schmanke, the current president of the Topeka Blues Society, listed the other events they have been a part of.
“[We also did the] Mulvane Art Fair, Summertime Blues, Blues at Gage Park [and] Tulips at Twilight,” said Schmanke.
Bill Beasley, the current vice president of the society, wanted to present people with this rhetorical question: “Where else can you go and have a blues festival where there’s free parking, you can set up your tents, come with the whole family and a day of music for free?”
If you have any interest in the event, make sure to check it out. For more information about the event, click here.
Edited by: Katrina Johnson and Crystal Hendrix