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Columbia Pike Blues Festival Returns Saturday

by Ethan Rothstein — June 12, 2014 at 11:30 am 778 0

Columbia Pike Blues Festival 2012(Updated at 12:00 p.m.) The 19th Annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival is this Saturday, headlined by a Serbian blues guitarist who brings a different type of blues to the Pike.

The Blues Festival runs from 1:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the intersection of the Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive by the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse. There will be plenty of food and beer, but as Takis Karantonis, the executive director of the event organizer, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, says, the food and drink are secondary to the music.

“We think the blues is the Pike’s music,” Karantonis told ARLnow.com yesterday. “It corresponds to the personality and flavor of the Pike. Our artists on Saturday, they’re such different personalities and they all converge on the platform of the blues.”

The headliner this year is Ana Popovic, who Karantonis describes as “more heavy-duty, modern blues” than previous artists at the Blues Festival, but one who comes with a national following, a point of emphasis in putting together the event.

Opening for Popovic will be Steve McWilliams and The Spectacles, Duffy Kane, Memphis Gold and Billy Thomson. Next to the stage will be the return of Art in Action, in which visitors can watch artists paint canvases that will be auctioned off during the festival.

Selling food at the festival will be Pike restaurants Mazagan, Cantina Mexicana, Rincome, the Salsa Room and Big Daddy’s Texas-style BBQ. Beer will be provided by Yuengling.

For the first time this year, there’s a second day to the festival, an event called “Little Bit A Blues” at the courtyard in front of Penrose Square (2503 Columbia Pike), on Friday starting at 6:00 p.m. While it’s a mini-event this year, Karantonis plans to expand the festival into a full two-day event for next year.

Last year, Karantonis estimates that the festival drew between 7,000 and 8,000 people last year. Although he said “we don’t talk about the weather” in CPRO’s office, the forecast calls for sunny skies and low-80s temperatures.

Arlington County produced a video with tips on how to get to the Blues Festival via transit.

Disclosure: CPRO is an ARLnow.com advertiser. File photo.

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