The village green in Cashiers springs to life this Memorial Day weekend with a new festival: Blues, Brew and BBQ. This family-friendly event takes place Saturday, May 25, from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It mixes local barbecue, craft beers, and one of the most popular blues bands in the Southeast. Headlining the festival is Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues. Arnold, of Pelzer, S.C, was a nominee for best traditional blues artist at the 2012 Blues Music Awards. He is a legend in the genre, having performed with the likes of: Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Otis Redding, James Brown and B.B. King. Opening for Arnold is The Lauren Mitchell Band of Sarasota, Fla. Mitchell showcases a classically-trained voice influenced by Etta James and Aretha Franklin. And she brings energy to the stage with “a love of blues, soul rock, and, most importantly, all-out, full-throttle performing.” In recognition of Memorial Day weekend, the festival honors military veterans with a special VIP seating area. All other attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets.
Meanwhile, a pre-festival poker run will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The run navigates a scenic 130-mile loop beginning at 10:30 a.m. Registration is at 9 a.m. “We decided it would be appropriate to celebrate Memorial Day weekend outdoors with a fun-filled day featuring great blues, good brews, local barbecue, and a tribute to our veterans,” said Jodi Moore of the festival committee. “Saturday was selected so people have the opportunity to come up for the entire weekend and enjoy all that Cashiers has to offer.” On the Side BBQ and the Cashiers Farmers Market will provide all food, while The Ugly Dog Pub provides the beer selection, as well as wine. Additionally, a moonshine margarita bar will be set up by Troy & Sons distillery of Asheville. The festival is free of charge and takes place rain or shine. Personal coolers are not permitted. Lodging specials are available on the website for local accommodations.
For further information, go to: VisitCashiersValley.com or call (704) 458-7686.