Friday, May 1, 2009

Garden State Blues & Wine Festival: May 23 & 24


The Garden State Wine Growers Association will hold its annual Blues & Wine Weekend Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24 at Natirar Park -a 411-acre preserve set in the scenic hills of Somerset County.

This year's festival brings together a weekend celebration of hundreds of award winning wines, live blues, artisan vendors, gourmet food and kids activities. Special treat will be the appearances of the Craig Thatcher Band Saturday from noon to 4:30 p.m. and the Matt O’Kee Band Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m.. The Craig Thatcher Band has a well earned reputation for blending classic rock and blues standards with impressive original tunes, all with a joy of playing that's up front and bold. Blues performer, Matt O’Kee, is a Blues guitarist who has performed and shared the stage with such legends as BB King, Buddy Grey, Leslie West and Mountain, the Marshall Tucker Band and The Outlaws.

Both bands will be playing against the verdant setting of Natirar, which showcases many aspects of the area’s rich architectural, cultural, historic and archaeological heritage. Festival participants can blend their wine and their blues with a two-mile walk along Natirar’s picturesque loop trail that passes along the scenic North Branch river corridor, through wooded areas and across open fields.

Festival hours for both days are noon to 5p.m. Tickets are $20 per person at the gate. Advance tickets can be purchased only at the association web site for $18 a person.

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