BBHF is making big strides

Published 5:51 am Friday, May 12, 2017

I just love the Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival, and I’m excited about the possibilities that this year’s lineup offers. The festival has rightfully improved the long-held perception of Bogalusa to a city where everybody is welcome.

I love that, too. In my experience, everyone works together here for the betterment of the whole community. That’s certainly true of the BBHF committee.

I love that fact that the BBHF is widely known as a well-organized, welcoming, family friendly event. We’ve heard compliments in those areas from attendees, visiting members of the regional media, and our performers, one of whom said she wished that she had brought her family along.

It’s fun presenting good things. The BBHF was named Louisiana’s Best New Festival after it’s inaugural run in 2012, and it has received numerous accolades since, including being named OffBeat Magazine’s Best Festival Outside of New Orleans and one of Louisiana’s Top 10 Must-Visit Festivals.

The festival helps the Washington Parish economy, too. Students at Southeastern Louisiana University, who did an estimated economic impact study, figured it at close to $179,000 last year alone.

We’ve had some great lineups, including performers at their peaks and young up and comers. And we cover a wide range of blues music and a range of Louisiana Heritage music as well.

We get to introduce people to Louisiana cuisine and art, too, in the beautiful, wooded and wildlife-filled Cassidy Park.

So, back to the 2017 lineup, I can’t wait to hear and see Anders Osborne live on our stage, and I cannot wait to see and hear the North Mississippi All Stars in person. I also have a relationship with the song New Orleans Ladies, done by Louisiana’s LeRoux, because I lived in New Orleans for years.

I really want to hear Samantha Fish and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux again, and to hear Erica Falls for the first time. And I want to hear Colin Lake, to see what’s been happening musically in my birth state. I want to see if Victor Wainwright and his honky-tonk piano really do set the stage on fire.

I’m excited to hear the kids in the Franklinton High Jazz Band and from the Believe Camp. We want to encourage our young performers. I want to hear Tea Moore bring down the house again, and to check out Travis Clark.

Maybe most importantly, I want to see who all jams with each other.

Marcelle Hanemann is a reporter for The Daily News. You can email her at or call her at 985-732-2565, ext. 301.