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Ready to get the Labor Day blues?
Black History Society sponsors holiday Blues Festival
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Blues Festival

Presented by the Gainesville-Hall County Black History Society and Gainesville Parks and Recreation Department

When: 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday

Where: Fair Street Neighborhood Center, 715 Fair St., Gainesville

How much: $10 at the door

When was the last time you got your fix of down-home blues?

Well, if it’s been longer than you’d like, the Gainesville-Hall County Black History Society will be serving up a hyper-local taste on Labor Day with its Blues Festival.

From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, the Fair Street Neighborhood Center at 715 Fair St. in Gainesville, will be rocking with the tunes of the homegrown band, Been There Done That.

“Last year was our first festival and it was focused on jazz,” said Barbara Brooks, vice chairwoman of the historical society.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of jazz bands in this area. We wanted to celebrate what we have — that’s our emphasis — not what another community has to offer.

“Been There Done That is from right here in (Gainesville), so we decided to make it a blues festival.”

The festival is co-sponsored by the Gainesville Parks and Recreation Department. Admission is $10 per person and can be paid at the door.

Even though the weather has been a bit questionable the last few days, don’t expect it to rain on the society’s parade. The festival will be held inside the center, so there’s no need to let a few clouds keep you away.

Although there is an admission fee, this isn’t a fundraiser. And while there will be music, this isn’t just another party.

“If we wanted this to be a fundraiser, the tickets would cost more than $10. That just helps to cover the costs,” Brooks said.

“Our goal is to bring recognition to the positive contributions that African-Americans have made to society.”

Although it’s highlighting black history, the event is meant to be all inclusive.

“We want to celebrate the contributions that African-Americans have made to music. In a lot of (communities), African-Americans are the only ones celebrating, but we want the total community to know that we’re here for everybody.

“We have music that appeals to everyone. We’re inviting everyone one out, so they can decide for themselves if they identify with any part of this narrative.

“That’s what blues is — a narrative. It tells a story.”

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