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W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival

Submitted by on June 12, 2019 – 8:11 amNo Comment

W. C. HandyThe W. C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival gets underway today in Henderson, Kentucky, running through Saturday (June 15, 2019).

The festival is a celebration of the life and legacy of Henderson resident and “Father of the Blues,” William Christopher Handy (pictured, at left). Why Henderson? According to the festival organizers, the Alabama-born composer and his band were traveling home from the postponed Chicago World’s Fair in 1892 when they ran out of money in St. Louis, Missouri Work was scarce there, so Handy left the rest of the band and headed to Evansville, Indiana (which is across the Ohio River from Henderson, Kentucky).

In need of funds, Handy worked on a street paving crew and joined a local band that performed throughout the region. And, why BBQ? While the group played at a Henderson barbecue, Handy met Elizabeth Price, who soon became his wife.

Handy spent nearly a decade in Henderson before moving on, eventually to be recognized as an accomplished composer of the blues and spiritual music.

The best chance to taste barbecue is today at the “Taste of Henderson Barbecue” (Road Trips Foodies can enjoy barbecue sold by local vendors). Of course, there’s music, too, and it’s in Audubon Mill Park, 123 North Water Street, Henderson, Kentucky.

The festival is sponsored by the Henderson Music Preservation Society, Inc.

(Photo courtesy of Henderson Music Preservation Society)

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