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Blues is back with 25th musical season | Public arts and entertainment

QUINCY. For the opening concert of the 25th season of Blues in the District, it could not have been a better evening.

“I live for the 60%,” said Emily Lombardi. Lombardi is the district’s director of economic and community development. “If the forecast says there is a 40% chance of rain, I live for that 60% chance.”

On Friday night in Washington Park, Lombardi’s optimism was rewarded with mild temperatures and clear weather radar.

The last-minute artist change was taken lightly as Reverend Raven and The Chain Smoking Alter Boys had to back out at the last minute. Amanda Fish, winner of the 2019 Blues Music Award for Best New Artist, jumped in without hesitation.

“Everyone involved, from the band to the talent agent, was great to work with,” Lombardi said. “Amanda (Fish) has been here before and she said she’s very happy to be back.”

Fish played the second week of the 2019 Blues in the county.

This year, Lombardi took over the Blues for the first time since joining the organization in October last year.

“The last time I was in the Blues was seven years ago as a fan,” she said. “To return in this capacity is something surreal.”

Blues in the District is a series of free concerts that runs throughout the summer. Performances take place on the second and fourth Fridays of June, July and August in downtown Quincy. The park was full on an early Friday afternoon for the first concert of the year.

“This morning I was worried about the rain,” said Dave Kendrick. Kendrick and his friends settled in the western part of the park, not far from Fourth Street. “I’ve been here every year, almost every show, and it’s one of the best nights to be here.”

The district, in addition to selling goods at the exhibition, held a 50/50 lottery. Lombardi said that’s what they plan to do every week.

“I want to try to give people more of what they want,” she said. “If that means we have to drop the script, we will. But I want to talk to as many people as possible to get ideas.”

Along with the main event, food and drinks were available for purchase in the park’s gazebo, and guests are encouraged to bring drink coolers.

“This is how summer should be,” Kendrick said. “Meeting friends, drinking and enjoying great music.”

Lombardi said she would like to thank the sponsors of the event for making it strong.

“We are 25 years old and people keep coming back,” she said. “Viewers, sponsors, everyone is so excited. We want to build on that.”

The next Blues in the District show featuring the Coyote Bill Boogie Band from Kansas City, Missouri will take place on June 24th.

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