Island of Blues Festival returns to Elkhart after 16-year hiatus

Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 12:37 AM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Folks in South Bend were wearing green for the Irish, but those in Elkhart were feeling the blues for the return of the Island of Blues Festival.

Taking place at Island Park downtown, this is the first Blues Festival at the park since 2007.

The festival was free to attend, and for just $1, festivalgoers could participate in a BBQ sauce competition.

Musical acts included Duke Tumatoe, Billy the Kid and the Regulators, King Solomon Hicks, Bobby Hunt and the Day Drinkers, The Heavy Load, and Q Sonics.

“We have had so many requests over the decades from people that want it back, people that want a blues festival for just blues,” said Maddy Gordon, events assistant for Elkhart Parks and Rec. “To be able to bring that community together all under one roof or one park, but yeah, we’re doing it for the people.”

The next big event in Elkhart is Waggin’ in the Woods on Sept. 24 at the Elkhart Environmental Center. The event goes to benefit Tracking in the Shadows pet rescue.