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Blues Festival merchandise popping up in local shops

Tickets to Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival III, colorful T-shirts and tank tops, fedoras, visors and jewelry are now available from Bogalusa merchants.

The tickets, which save buyers $5 per day from the price at the gate, can be purchased at McMillan’s. Gayle’s Jewelers, Dunaway’s and Wild Blu have the other items.

“We have added new items this year, and we are very excited about it,” said BBHF Merchandise Chair Cristi Knight. “We have fedoras and visors that are stitched with the BBHF logo on them. And in addition to traditional tees, we will be testing the market with tank top versions. We have the poster. And we will offer BBHF jewelry again this year-hat pins, charms and bracelets.”

The shirts, designed by Bogalusan Bill Kropog, include rich reds and blues on a subtle purple tee.

“I am very excited about this year’s T-shirt,” Knight said. “The colors are bright and beautiful. We will offer traditional tees, and this year we will have tank tops as part of our merchandise lineup.”

She praised the shirt printer and hat embroiderer, Dunaway’s “for helping me through the process and, especially, helping me with the selection of the new items.”

Kropog said he was “honored” to contribute to the BBHF experience.

“I felt strongly that the design should have meaning not just to the event and city itself, but to this year’s event, which is the third one,” he said. “The overriding theme this year, even in the official festival poster, is three, as in the third. Third time’s the charm.

“In my design, I have the three guitar necks off in the distance, symbolizing the three years of the festival. The first neck is that of a bass guitar. It established the beat and rhythm. It got things started. The second guitar neck is that of an acoustic guitar. It makes great music, and it really added to the history of the festival and got everyone excited about the potential. The third guitar neck is that of an electric guitar. We, as a festival, are coming of age… into the modern age. This, the third year, is going to blow everyone away and be talked about across the region.

“Aside from the three guitar necks and the symbolism there, I wanted to create the image of amazing sounds emanating from that special little place in the woods, way off in the distance. I wanted the person seeing the shirt to be drawn to that place in the distance, which rests on the banks of the muddy water. I wanted there to be a special connection to Bogalusa.”

The jewelry is now available at Gayle’s, and the shirts and hats are at Dunaway’s and at Wild Blu.

For additional information about the BBHF or to purchase tickets or order the festival poster, visit bogalusablues.com online.