Blues, Brews & BBQ
Photos by Bruce Brown Photography
Saturday, October 2nd. First street, Napa.
Downtown has never looked so good. Stores are full, outdoor dining is plentiful – even the hanging flower baskets are in full bloom. Could it get any better?
Saturday, October 2nd, Blues, Brews & BBQ makes it’s return to First Street in downtown. This would be the 12th annual event, except of course that last year’s was cancelled (thank you, COVID.) From the beginning, it’s been the most popular of all the outdoor events hosted by the Downtown Napa Association. Julie Morales, who has been organizing BB&BBQ from the beginning, thinks the changes to downtown will make it even better.
“We used to host the Beer Garden on Coombs Street, which is now full of beautiful parklets. That forced us to look for another location. We never considered the area next to the County Building, behind the Second Street garage, and it’s completely shaded. It’s perfect!” said Morales. The Garden features forty draft beers. Purchase a tasting glass with tickets and sample any four beers (or more, if you wish to purchase additional tickets.) It’s also across the street from the Main Stage at Dwight Murray Plaza, opening with Nancy Wright and the Rhythm Roots Band and headlined this year by The Daniel Castro Band. “It’s going to be a party, for sure,” said Morales. Individual beer, wine and other beverages will be available for purchase at numerous places. Look for Coors Light, Blue Moon, Saint Archer Hop Valley and Lagunitas.
As long as she was making changes, Morales decided that, if three continuous musical stages are good, four are even better. “People should be able to dance, no matter where they are on the street.” In addition to Dwight Murray Plaza, two local bands, The Smart Fellers and The Johnny Smith Trio, will perform in front of the Goodman Library. Just down the street at the Eiko’s Stage, Tia Carroll & Frankie G Acoustic Band will open, warming up the crowd for Marshall Law Band. And that’s just the Blues.
A full-on Zydeco party will take place on Randolph Street, starting with I*ko YaYa and closing with Andre Thierry and His Accordion Soul Music. The word Zydeco gets its name from a colloquial Creole French expression “Les haricots ne sont pas salés” meaning “the snap beans aren’t salty” or idiomatically for “the times are hard.” Like the blues, early zydeco offered a way for the rural poor both to express and to escape the hardships of life through music and dance. What great music to dance our way out of a pandemic.
If you’ve missed past BB&BBQ events, the title says it all. Eight BBQ vendors will offer chicken, ribs, hot links, oysters and all the trimmings. Remember – the only way to get through the day is to pace yourself. For that matter, you could always take some home. Not interested in beer or BBQ? Then just come on down and enjoy the music. There will be plenty of Napa Valley wine and other beverages on-hand as well. Want to bicycle? Valet bike parking will be on Coombs. Like all Downtown Napa events, admission is free. For your safety, proof of vaccine or a recent negative COVID test are required.
This event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors, including the downtown property owners through their Property-based Improvement District. They recognize that, after all we’ve been through, it’s time to get outside and have fun. Other support comes from Molson Export Ale, Coors, Lagunitas and St. Archer. Without them, there would be no event.
Questions? You can visit DoNapa.com or a full listing of beer. Main Stage @ Dwight Murray Plaza
Nancy Wright & The Rhythm And Roots Band 12 – 3 PM
The Daniel Castro Band 3:30 - 6 PM
Local Stage @ Goodman Library
Johnny Smith Trio 12 – 3 PM
The Smart Fellers 3:30 - 6 PM
Zydeco Stage@ Randolph St.
I*ko YaYa 12 – 3 PM
Andre Thierry and his Accordion Soul Music! 3:30 - 6 PM
Eiko’s Stage @ 1st & Franklin St.
Tia Carroll & Frankie G 12 – 3 PM
Marshall Law Band 3:30 - 6 PM