Colonial Beach Blues Festival, and anyone who is going to be on the mid-Atlantic coast or passing through the Washington, D.C., area in late June would be remiss in not stopping by for it.
This two-day event will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26, and will feature more than a dozen musical groups, including the legendary Fiddlin’ Big Al Chidester, Beach Project, Blue Voodoo, Stacy Brooks, Anthony “Swampdog” Clark, Duffy Kane, Little Bit a Blues, Big Daddy Stallings, Cathy Ponton King, Bill Kirchen, the Nighthawks, Andy Poxon, and the Ubangis. Beyond being a great time and the musical event of the season, it is also being held for a good cause and will benefit the Organization for Autism Research.
“It’s going to be a blast!” impresario Dominick Salemi, organizer of the event, told the San Antonio Travel Examiner.
Venue for the Colonial Beach Blues Festival will be High Tidez on the Potomac, a local steakhouse, seafood restaurant, and bar located on the shores of the Potomac River that hosts musical events. Passes to the event cost $25 for two days and $15 one day and can be purchased at Populuxe (10 Hawthorn, Colonial Beach), by calling (804) 214-0312 or (804) 214-0883, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Official hotel for the event, and where many of the bands will be staying, is the historic art-deco-style Riverview Inn, and there are many other places to stay, including several historic bed and breakfasts and the fully refurbished — and haunted! — Bell House.
Colonial Beach itself is a funky little waterside town of about 3,300 people that was founded some 361 years ago and is located just a few miles from the birthplace of George Washington. Features include a number of cool antique and consignment shops; several great watering holes, including the Dockside, Lighthouse on the Bay, and Tiki Bar; a retro coffee shop and hangout crafted from an old ESSO station; and a three-mile stretch of beach that is great for swimming, fishing, and other recreational activities.
“You have to picture a beat beach town out of Kerouac,” Salemi said. “A beachfront setting with abandoned and derelict buildings, a dilapidated brick VFW hall, a weathered clapboard house serving as a motorcycle accessory shop, and a prefab high-rise condo. And as you look around and see all these kids hanging out at the retro custard stand, adults across the street enjoying wine and Thai food at a refurbished beach house, you think: ‘This place can go either way, straight to the top as a vacation destination and wicked cool retirement town or down straight to the dogs.’”
In the meantime, it is a great place to kick back and listen to some music, have a few drinks, and enjoy the shore.