In fact, LeBauer Park in downtown Greensboro was filled all day long – and well into the night – with smiles, laughter and dancing for the large number of people who came out to watch the 33rd Annual Carolina Blues Festival.
The doors opened at 2 p.m. and by the time the show started at 3 p.m. – with the blues and funk band House of Dues, a local favorite – the lawn at LeBauer Park was filled with spectators in folding chairs and on blankets spread out on the grass.
In the late afternoon, between blues acts, Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan and fellow Greensboro City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter read a proclamation to the crowd that declared May 13 -19 as “Blues Week” in the city of Greensboro.
Vaughan, who usually reads that type of stodgy resolution in the City Council’s meeting room, said afterward that it felt a little strange reading it in that setting.
“Next time we may sing it – while dancing,” Vaughan joked.
There was barely a cloud in the sky over the park all day long. The temperature ran up to over 90 in the late afternoon but there wasn’t much humidity so it was very comfortable, especially in the shade.
At one point during the festival, internationally known jazz legend Melva Houston commented that it was hot on stage – but it certainly didn’t take away any energy from her set, which included “At Last,” a real crowd pleaser made famous by Etta James.
One added perk to Houston’s performance was her guitarist: Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, who many area residents know from his frequent performances around Greensboro over the decades.
Other acts performing at the festival were Grammy award-winner Dom Flemons, the co-founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops; Jon Shain, a winner in the 2019 International Blues Challenge; and Clark Stern and the Musical Rewards, a high-energy act featuring Stern on keyboards.