Oktober Fest Blues Festival and more on Oct 8 and 9

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City will also host open air farmer's market

By Alice Du Pont

On the heels of a successful summer music concert MainStreet Quincy is gearing up for the Oktober Fest Blues Festival on Oct. 8 and 9.

    Jack McLean, Quincy city manager,  said the aim is still to bring people to the downtown area to help merchants. He said the Sept. 10 concert featuring local talent, N'Spire, has pleased merchants and vendors.

    "All of the vendors sold out. These people are putting out their hard earned money. They are making an investment in our community and we want to help," McLean said.

    He said the Oktober Fest Blues Festival will create even more traffic downtown. According to McLean, if people come to the central business for entertainment they will spend money for food and with the merchants.

    "Last Friday night drew a crowd of between 1,500 and 2,000. In the near future we will be able to calculate that in terms of dollars." McLean said.

    MainStreet director Charles Hayes said the upcoming blues festival is different in that it is a two-day event and will feature two nationally known performers, Mel Waiters and Floyd Taylor.

    "We're also kicking off our Green Market on Oct. 9 and it will be open every Saturday morning. We're looking for fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and some arts and crafts. The market will be located in the 100 block on S. Madison Street.

    The green market idea grew out of suggestions from residents that they want fresh produce that is locally grown. Hayes said some people regularly make trips to Tallahassee to buy from the farmer's markets. He said he learned that some of the Tallahassee vendors live and grow products in Gadsden County.

    "We want to keep them here and we want to support them as much as possible. The logical expansion was to include arts and crafts because there is a lot of talent here. A lot of people in this area make homemade jellies and jams, which is becoming a dying art. Some of the arts and crafts I have seen would make good holiday gifts and at a fraction of the cost," Hayes said.

    The Green market is free, but residents who want to participate will need to sign up. To find out more about Oktober Fest Blues Festival or to participate in the Green Market, call Hayes' office at 681-0030, ext. 6674.