Stratford is definitely a town that likes to party.
On June 21-23, we enjoyed the 4th annual Stratford Blues and Ribfest, where 15,000 were expected to descend on the riverside to enjoy a good time.
People had a choice of locales to enjoy the tunes echoing off the water. Offering a mix of international, national and local talent with not only blues but rock and country as well, the concerts were all free, thanks to a Celebrate Ontario grant.
The only exception was the Friday evening show which featured the return of Blue Rodeo, who attracted a big crowd of fans and helped to raise funds for Cash for Splash – the campaign aiming to raise the money needed to install a splash pad in the south end of the city.
I attended the venue set up outside of the Allman Arena. A tented concert area, the street lined with vendors, the scent of grilled ribs, chicken, fries, ice cream and lots of other goodies all contributed to a great time.
It seems when there is an event like this, inhibitions are dropped and people are freer to chat with strangers sitting across the table. We met two delightful ladies who had driven into town for the event.
That`s one of the things I love about Stratford, the sense of community where people work together to make dreams happen. Kudos to Stew Laing, Nathan Mckay and their team for dreaming big and organizing such an outstanding event!