Blues fans from across globe visit city

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

People came to Bogalusa from all around the world to attend the sixth annual Bogalusa Blues and Heritage last weekend. There were visitors from South Africa, some from Italy, and a couple from Germany was even passing around German chocolate.

People came from across the United States, as well, and many said they wouldn’t miss the BBHF. Even visiting media members were complimentary. Johnny Cole, with Southland Music Line, said he has been to many festivals around the world and that the BBHF is one of his favorites.

On Monday, after the festival, BBHF executive chair Malinda White was exhausted, but she was also elated.

“I was so happy with the crowds and the growth,” she said. “From the beginning we were hoping to make Bogalusa a destination, and it looks like it already is.”

The BBHF committee also hoped that performers would join others on the Cassidy Park stages, and this year BBHF alum Johnny Sansone leant his considerable harmonica skills when he jumped in with both Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Anders Osborne. And Johnny Vidacovich, who is considered among the best jazz drummers in the world, sat in with the North Mississippi Allstars.

“Both Johnny’s were a wonderful surprise,” White said.

White, a state representative who was commended by the Louisiana State House during the festival, said the attendance numbers are not in yet and that it will take a few days to determine them.

As people relaxed and made memories at the park on Saturday, White said the plan is to keep presenting top performers in a range of blues and heritage styles, to add an educational component, and add to the tent camping possibilities.