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Gray skies won't take color out of Blues Fest

June 05, 1998|By LISA GRAYBEAL

Come rain or shine, the third Western Maryland Blues Fest will kick off at lunchtime today and continue through the weekend in Hagerstown's Public Square and City Park.

"Everyone's just getting excited and hoping the weather is good," said Karen Giffin, public information manager for the city of Hagerstown.

The Blues Fest may start out a little gray today with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid- to upper 60s, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.

There's a 30 percent chance of showers.

Partly sunny skies with high temperatures in the low to mid-70s are expected for Saturday and Sunday, forecasters said.

Last year, unseasonably cool weather forced the nearly 14,000 festival attendees to put on sweatshirts and jackets and more hot coffee was sold than expected, Giffin said.

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Temperatures at last year's event didn't climb out of the upper 50s, according to weather data kept by Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer.

For the first time this year, two performance stages will be set up in Public Square, both with canopies overhead to protect the performers if it rains, Giffin said.

Festival organizers have been fielding calls and computer queries from people as far away as Florida and expect attendance will surpass last year's, Giffin said.

"The festival is really becoming well known," she said.




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