Hundreds of people braved the heat and humidity for some cool blues Friday afternoon.
The fifth annual Western Maryland Blues Fest in Hagerstown officially began Friday, with lunchtime performances by Mr. Downchild and Rudy & The Bluefish in the Maryland Theatre courtyard.
"I'm real excited," said Steve Blackstock, a Hagerstown native and guitarist for Rudy & The Bluefish.
"I'm just astounded Hagerstown is doing this," he said.
"The city I used to make fun of is closing off the streets and having good music in the square. It's great to be a part of it," said Blackstock, who in addition to performing Friday is conducting children's harmonica workshops this weekend.
Gloria Crawford, 62, of Hagerstown, hasn't missed a Blues Fest yet and was there for the Friday concert.
"I like the beats and he sings good," said Crawford, who took shelter from the hot sun and 90-degree heat under the overhang in front of Faith Chapel.