By RJ Walters / For the Jackson Citizen Patriot
The movers and shakers of Albion are giving people plenty of fun to look forward to this summer.
Mark Hunt, the owner of Java N Jazz café and catering, 300 S. Clinton St., said he wanted to host an event to kick off the summer events schedule, leading him to the creation of the Blues N BBQ festival June 18-19.
More than a dozen bands will take the stage, and everything from barbecued beef and ribs to traditional Mexican food, and of course coffee, is on the menu.
The festival will take place on S. Clinton St. from Erie St. to Center St from noon-9 p.m. both days, and Hunt said the emphasis of the free festival is to show the area Albion knows how to come together and connect as a community.
“I looked and saw a need for Albion to have a celebration at the beginning of the summer,” he said. “We have our (Festival) of (the) Forks, the Fall Harvest and a lot of great things, but let’s start the season off before the summer solstice and I figured around Father’s Day would be a good time to do things dads like to do — barbecue and listen to some jazz.”
There are local bands, acts from neighboring regions and one musician coming all the way from Texas.
“Silverfox is an Apache’ Indian who will be playing the flute, there’s a band from Adrian called Fundamental Synchronicity and Tom Tomlin, who plays in Jackson quite often, will be performing,” Hunt said.
On Friday there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony, 50-cent root beer floats, and the Albion Interfaith Ministries store (AIM) nearby will be selling all items for 25 cents.
The festival is just one of many events on the summer schedule in Albion.
The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will be holding the 9th Annual Red, White and Blue Cruise-in July 1, from 5-9 p.m.
The car show will take place on Superior St. and Craig Parish of Lansing will be DJing it.
The DDA has also secured grants from the local Rotary Club and the Albion Community Foundation to host free community movies.
The movies will be shown on inflatable big-screens in downtown Albion July 30 and Aug. 20. The movies have not been selected, but they will be family friendly, and viewers should bring their own chairs and blankets for seating.