GREENVILLE – Darke County Center for the Arts is once again bringing its annual fun-filled fundraiser “Barbecue and Blues” to downtown Greenville; the event will be held Friday, July 12 on the spacious lawn at the Greenville Public Library, 520 Sycamore St. The fun begins at 5 p.m. Music begins at 5:30 p.m. and will continue until 10:30 p.m. This year’s artists are master bluesman Eric Jerardi and his band as well as by special guest Austin Walkin’ Cane.
“’Barbecue and Blues’ has always been a fantastic summer party, and the move downtown has made it even more exciting; grab your blanket or lawn chairs and come out to celebrate summer with us,” said DCCA Executive Director Andrea Jordan. “Food vendors include local food truck favorite Nacho Pig and Main Street Greenville businesses Merchant House and Romer’s who will be bringing their BBQ chicken dinners, plus newly-opened Beanz bakery which will be serving their luscious cupcakes,” Ms. Jordan stated. In addition to soft drinks, wine will be available as well as micro brews from Moeller Brew Barn.
According to retiring DCCA Artistic Director Keith Rawlins, Eric Jerardi has gained renown as a masterful soul blues singer/songwriter. “Simply put, Eric has mastered the blues,” Mr. Rawlins said. “His just-right notes and his moving vocals enhance his honest and real lyrics, expressing the emotions of his songs and moving his audience to feel the spirit of the blues,” he said. Mr. Rawlins also stated that special guest Austin “Walkin’ Cane” has won quite a local following due to several previous performances for DCCA. “This Clevelander sounds like an early blues singer from the Delta; his story-telling abilities pull audiences in and his smooth baritone keeps them listening and leaves them begging for more,” Rawlins explained.
Sponsorship for the musical performances is provided by Merry Lee Cross and Shaun Hayes of BHHS Professional Realty, Matt and Angie Arnold, and George and Becky Luce. The event venue is provided by Greenville Public Library; other sponsors are Erwin Brothers, Rumpke, and the John R. and Miriam H. Knick Fund. Proceeds from “Barbecue and Blues” support DCCA programming, helping make possible DCCA’s Arts In Education program as well as the Family Theatre Series and a summer theatre residency by Missoula Children’s Theatre.
Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under; food and drink are not included in the ticket price. A limited number of tables for six are available for purchase and can be reserved for a donation of $100. Although tickets will be available at the gate, DCCA strongly recommends purchasing them in advance. Tickets can be reserved by contacting DCCA at 937-547-0908 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and are also on sale at Greenville Public Library, Readmore’s Hallmark, and Darke County Welcome Center.