Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Bruce, Blues & BBQ Festival Celebrates Leo “Bud” Welch This Saturday

Leo "Bud" Welch
Leo “Bud” Welch

Blues, barbeque and good times are on the menu this Saturday in Bruce as the Bruce Chamber of Commerce, Bruce Arts Council and Cannon Motors host the inaugural “Backwoods Music Festival.”

The first annual festival will celebrate the Blues and local musician Leo “Bud” Welch, who will later appear at Oxford’s Double Decker Arts Festival, presented by Caterpillar, on April 23. The event will kickoff Saturday (April 2) afternoon with a barbeque meal in the Bruce Museum.

Barbeque plates will be available starting at 4:30 p.m. The museum will also host a “Meet and Greet” with Welch and live music by “Sounds of Tyme.” There will also be autograph and photo opportunities with Welch.

Festivities will shift to the Bruce Theater at 7 p.m. where Janae Winter and Linda Ann Ward, Vinnie “C,” and South of Memphis will all briefly perform prior to Welch taking the stage to share his unique Blues sound.

Tickets are available at the chamber office for $10 for each event, or you can get a pair of tickets for everything for $35.

All proceeds from the event will go toward the cost of a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker for Bruce honoring Welch.

“So many have donated their time and efforts to raising funds for this marker and Saturday’s festival will culminate all of that and hopefully raise the last monies we need to make it happen,” said Joel McNeece, chairman of the Bruce Museum board. “We expect to have a great time for a great cause.”

The Bruce Chamber of Commerce secured a $5,000 grant from the Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance to help with the cost of the marker and the “Bruce, Blues & BBQ” festival. The plan is for the annual festival to feature a different genre of music each year.

“We are very grateful and excited about this grant and what it will do for our efforts,” said Theresa Nicks, chairwoman of the festival. “For our first event, we couldn’t have a finer honoree than Leo Welch and are excited to see us reach our goals and bring a Blues marker to Bruce.”

Supporters will be able to buy t-shirts, posters and/or have your picture made with Welch during the event. You can come attend any portion of the festival you wish, or all of it.

For more information, contact the Bruce Chamber of Commerce at 983-2222.



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