Listeners danced during Memphis Lightning's set. [ Wendy Weitzel | The Star ]
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Blues on Reid sees record breaking crowd

With stormy weather forecast for Saturday afternoon, Gulf County Chamber of Commerce Director Joe Whitmer was worried this year’s Blues on Reid wouldn’t draw the crowds it has in years past.

But as the sun began to warm downtown Port St. Joe shortly after noon and storm clouds blew past, hundreds began to gather for the festivities.

Lawn chairs filled the intersection of Reid Avenue and Third Street as guests poured into downtown Port St. Joe for the festival’s eighteenth year.

“Can we all say a prayer to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for allowing that storm to pass us by?” Whitmer asked the crowd gathered as he presented one of the performers. “Or whichever higher being you prefer. We’ll thank them all today.”

Whitmer told the Star that the event saw record breaking crowds this year.

“We sold out of T-shirts, so next year folks might have to come early to get a T-shirt,” he said.

Some listeners even spilled out into the parking lots in surrounding areas, hoping to catch some of the festival’s curated sets while enjoying the sunny springtime weather.

The festival featured five blues artists from around the South, including Blues Meets Girl, Corey Hall, Memphis Lightning, The Avey Grouws Band and Mark Hummel. 

Vendors from around the area traveled to Port St. Joe to sell their goods or offer refreshments to visitors.

The event, which was free, is hosted annually by the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce.