With the weather being a bit overcast and with a slight chance of rain we decided that this past weekend was a good time to drive inland over to the town of Palatka, Florida. Why Palatka? After all, it is a small town of less than 11,000 people along the St. Johns River. What is it known for? Some say it is the bass fishing capitol of Florida but it is known really for all of the festivals that are held in such a small town.
This past weekend was the St. Johns River Blues Festival. When I first discovered a web page about this event what caught my eye was that it was free… you just don’t see this a lot with Jazz or Blues festivals. So after lunch we took off west and around thirty or thirty minutes later we pulled into a parking spot behind a bank adjacent to one of the two stages. We were a bit worried that we may have made a blunder coming here as there were only a few people in the streets and the parking lot was not full even though it was next to one of the two stages!!!
We decided to stroll along the main drag of downtown Palatka and see what all the hoopla was about. There was a twosome on stage bellowing out some decent Blues music so we decided to go back to the car and get our chairs. We sat on a curb across the street from the main stage and enjoyed the tunes…
We only stayed about 4 hours so we did not make it to the headliners. We did get to listen to a father daughter blues duo that played some decent music. The young girl was an excellent guitarist and could bellow out some blues that sorely called for a better band to back her up. Her father played okay but our advice to this young lady was that maybe it was time to lose your dad and find a real back up band!
We also stopped by a local bar on the drag called the Downtown Blues Bar and Grille that also had a a band pumping out the blues. It was another classic dive bar so we grabbed a couple of adult beverages and sat back to absorb their version of the blues… As much as we enjoyed the blues we also enjoyed the people watching in this sleepy little town. We totally enjoyed our day in downtown Palatka and I loved their t-shirts. The only thing that kept me from buying one was the other hundred or so t-shirts we already have.