Chilly Blues returns for 24th year

Alex Doty • Apr 13, 2016 at 1:00 PM

An annual April tradition filled with food and music is set to return to Grand Haven this weekend.

The 24th annual Chilly Blues chili cookoff and blues festival is slated for Friday through Sunday.

The event is organized by local restaurant owner Steve Loftis, along with Greg Gilmore and Tim Riley of The Kirby House. Loftis said that he and Gilmore will contribute the proceeds from this year’s event to the Waterfront Stadium redevelopment project.

“We are very pleased to assist in this community effort,” Loftis said.

Loftis noted that he and the other organizers are excited about this year’s musical lineup, as well as some new additions.

“We are adding a Chilly Blues Gospel Brunch with gospel singers and Big Daddy’s band,” he said. 

This year’s event also features music by the Vincent Hayes Project, Jim Shaneberger Blues Band, Chris Wiser Band, Christian Collin, Big Daddy Fox, Kathleen & The Bridge Street Band, Out of Favor Boys, and Blue Train. Entertainment will be hosted by Snug Harbor, The Kirby House, Theater Bar, The Grand, Dee-Lite and other downtown venues.

“This year, we will also be hosting a Bell’s craft beer event under the Chilly Blues tent at Snug Harbor, beginning Friday night at 6:30,” Loftis said. “The tap takeover — along with great food, beverage and live music — will be a must.”

Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, contestants will begin final registration and preparation for the noon shotgun start to the chili cookoff on the outdoor deck at Snug Harbor. The public is welcome and encouraged to cheer their favorite team to victory.

In addition to the chili contest, live blues will play from 1:30-6 p.m. At 3 p.m., a panel of judges will taste the chili. The public will be able to have a taste, as well. Winners will be announced at 5:30 p.m.

Chilly Blues continues Sunday with Big Daddy’s Gospel Blues Choir and Band from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Theater Bar.

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