Thousands visiting city for music event

Published 9:05 am Friday, September 25, 2015

Organizers for the fourth annual Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival in Cassidy Park this weekend were scurrying Thursday to finish up preparations.

The festival kicks off today at 5 p.m. with music from Lil Red and Big Bad on the Blues Stage.

A myriad of activities related with the festival are scheduled all day Saturday, starting at 8 a.m. with the 5K run/walk. Musical headliner Keb’ Mo’ takes the Blues State at 8:45 p.m. to end the festival.

Workers with Cole’s Party Rentals of Covington were in the park Wednesday erecting tents and tying them down.

Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival Executive Director Malinda White said on Thursday that everything seemed to be coming together.

“All the campers are coming in, as well as food and arts and crafts vendors,” White said. “The weather is going to be perfect for the festival. I’ve heard the blues are sad, but it’s not sad. It’s about life and rejoicing.”

White said she expected lots for camper parking to be sold out by the time the festival began today. She said there are a limited number of spaces available for tent camping. Campers need to apply online at

BBHF Promotions Chair Marcelle Hanemann said the musical fare will be second to none.

“We’re just having all kinds of wonderful performers during the festival,” Hanemann said. “A couple I know of from Baton Rouge were planning to come only on Saturday, but heard of Friday’s lineup and decided to come then, also. We just have great performers playing both days on two different stages.”

Friday’s Blues Stage lineup starts at 5 p.m. with Lil Red and Big Bad starting things off. They will be followed at 6:15 p.m. by Little Freddie King. Tinsley Ellis finishes out the night when he takes the stage at 8 p.m.

Saturday’s Blues Stage lineup begins at noon with Terry “Harmonica” Bean. He is followed at 1:15 p.m. by Mia Borders. Johnny Sansone takes the stage at 2:45 p.m., and is followed by Jon Cleary and The Absolute Monster Gentlemen at 4:45 p.m. At approximately 6:45 p.m., Royal Southern Brotherhood plays until headliner Keb’ Mo’ takes the stage at approximately 8:45 p.m.

Saturday’s Heritage Stage artists include Man Overboard Big Band from Mandeville High School starting off at 11:30 a.m. They will be followed at 12:30 p.m. by Remedy. Beware of Bear plays from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. Tea J. Moore takes the stage at approximately 3 p.m., followed at 4:30 p.m. by Gal Holiday and The Honky Tonk Revue.

Dwayne Dopsie and The Zydeco Hellraisers is the final act on the Heritage Stage. The performance is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Bogalusa Police Chief Joe Culpepper said traffic patterns will be different from past festivals. Willis Avenue will be open to traffic. There will be parking on Willis for handicap and VIP and an overflow lot for both lots.

Culpepper said temporary speed bumps on Willis Avenue will also be in use. He cautioned motorists to slow down in the area and to be cautious.