Blues Music Weekend Planned Sept. 29-30 in Fort Scott

Organizers have planned a fun weekend the last few days of September, called FortFest 23, which is free and open to all.

The events kick off Friday night September 29 with a street dance in front of Sharky’s Pub and Grub at 16 North National Ave. in Fort Scott.

“The dance features two live bands, starting with Danny Brown and the Bourbon County Revival at 7 p.m., and then Left of Center featuring local artist Lori Hixon at 9 p.m.,” said event organizer and Care to Share supporter Cory Bryars.

Saturday’s events are in the north portion of Riverfront Park on National Avenue just north of downtown Fort Scott, he said.

The FortFest features Blues music.

“This is the second annual FortFest, and we intend on having bigger and better FortFest for years to come,” he said. “FortFest23 features four high-quality regionally and nationally acclaimed Blues bands, each with a different style and sound. For people unfamiliar with the Blues or who think it is a single type of slow depressing music, they have only heard a sliver of what the Blues is all about.”

The audience from a prior FortFest. Submitted photo.

“Dozens of the approximately 500 people who came to the first FortFest left saying ‘Wow—I didn’t know that was the Blues’ and have been talking about it ever since,” Bryars said. “Famous Blues Musician Willie Dixon said ‘The Blues is the roots, the rest is the fruits.’  SOOOO true. From country to rock and countless iterations in between, the Blues is at the core of most of the music America and much of the rest of the world loves.”

“Care to Share hosts FortFest with the financial support of dozens of businesses and individuals from throughout Bourbon, Crawford, and Linn Counties, and beyond,” Bryars said. The Care to Share FortFest23 Planning and GET-IT-DONE Committee include:
Teresa”TD” Davenport, Lavetta Simmons, Kathy Clark, Leah Lewis, Tammy Miller, Bobbi Kemna, Joyce Nickelson, Sidney Zimmerman, and  Bryars.

“The City of Fort Scott is a generous supporter, and we will list all those who contributed in flyers at the festival, on Facebook, and in a follow-up thank you in various outlets,” he said. “Support those who Support Care to Share!”

The Blues musicians for Saturday, September 30 from 1 to 9 p.m. are:

1 p.m.- Howard Mahan Band. “Originally from Fredonia and now in Lawrence/KC—he has quite the interesting bio–#1 in his KU Law Class, scratch golfer, killer musician,” Bryars said.

3 p.m.- Sister Lucille, Springfield MO. “Tons of news on them online and recently at or near the top of Billboard’s National Blues rankings,” he said.

5 p.m.-The Arkansas Brothers, Jonesboro Arkansas. “Down-home classic Blues with a great harmonica and killer guitars. You might just hear some old country like Hank William Sr from these guys too. The Arkansas Bros could walk around Fort Scott and everyone would think they were from here,” he said.

7 p.m.- Divas on Fire, Fayetteville/NW Arkansas.”A group of powerful women with amazing vocals and harmonies and top-tier supporting musicians. They will have seven or even more band members wrapping up FortFest 23 with a sure-to-be-memorable performance. They will feature artists like Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, and Donna Summer as well good old hard-driving Blues and harmonies sure to please almost everyone.”

Other happenings that evening:

  • Car Show at noon from Rollin’ Nostalgia Car Club, Frontenac, and “anyone who wants to display their car is welcome,” he said.
  • Over 30 fine arts and crafts vendors start at noon.
  • A non-sanctioned BackYard BBQ Ribs Contest open to all comers—details on Facebook.
  • Varied food and drinks are available—Care to Share Bake Sale, smash burgers, walking tacos, pulled pork, pizza, funnel cakes, ice cream, sno-cones, and more.
  •  Kids fair from noon to 6 p.m. hosted by Pittsburg State’s Care to Share Student Support Group—face painting, games for all ages
  • Corn hole tournament

Parking for the event: Twister Trailer across from Riverfront Park, along both sides of Maple Road as it heads east of National Avenue, and the Park Loop Road just south of the red bridge on National Avenue.


Parking is free and just a short walk to the event, and there will be shuttles running throughout the day, he said.


“Food and drink are charged by the individual vendors, and some of the events have a small participant fee, such as the corn hole tournament, BBQ contest, and car show,” he said. “In years past, there were small charges for some of the kid activities—more details on everything will be on Facebook.  A portion of the fees will go into a prize pool for winners of the events, and a portion will go to Care to Share.”

People should bring chairs/or blankets to enjoy the events, bug spray, dancing shoes, and don’t forget a donation to Care to Share, he said.

The purpose of FortFest is to “build awareness of Care to Share, thank our communities, create energy in our communities, and raise funds for Care to Share to support cancer fighters in our communities,” he said.

Submitted photo.

See all the details and more info as it is released at

Care to Share is a southeast Kansas cancer support group that is 100% volunteer and community-funded.

They want to thank the communities they serve for the financial and emotional support of their daily mission to provide emotional and financial support to cancer fighters, he said



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