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Drizzle and blues in the park

June 04, 2007|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

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HAGERSTOWN - They never miss it.

For seven years, Mike Dalgleish and his family have traveled from Baltimore to attend the last day of Blues Fest in Hagerstown. He likes the music, the atmosphere and the people.

"And the chicken on a stick," Dalgleish said. "It doesn't get any better than that."

He was at City Park on Sunday for the third and final day of the 12th annual Western Maryland Blues Fest. Dalgleish's mother, Hope Dalgleish, lives in Hagerstown.

Mike Felice of Harrisburg, Pa., and his longtime girlfriend, Donna Zimmerman, also of Harrisburg, were two of the estimated 3,000 people at the park.

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"This is probably the only kind of music we can both agree to enjoy and listen to," Felice said.

The music started about noon Sunday with Hip Pocket Blues and ended about 5 p.m. Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang were the last to perform. Rudy & the Bluefish and Mary Ann Redmond Band also were scheduled.

The light rain that began to fall shortly after the music started might have kept some music lovers away, City of Hagerstown spokeswoman Karen Giffin said.

Those at the park draped themselves in ponchos or crowded under umbrellas and the nearest tree.

John Strahorn of Forest Hill, Md., and his wife, Libby Strahorn, said they discovered blues music about 25 years ago.

"We've always loved jazz and blues," he said.

The couple said they attend one or two music festivals each year, but it was their first time at Blues Fest.

"We're really impressed," he said. "We just like the ambiance of the music."

Brad Ropp of Hagerstown and his girlfriend, Tanya Neal, said they've attended Blues Fest for about four years.

"What's not to like?" he asked. "I absolutely love blues. It's the only real music, if you ask me. I'm old school. I'm not a teenager."

Donna Shouldis of Middletown, Md., and her friend, Art Copeland of Hagerstown, were trying to stay dry Sunday afternoon by sitting under a tree.

Shouldis said Copeland, who was a Blues Fest volunteer, told her she would like the music. What she didn't like was the rain.

"If it gets much worse, I'm out of here," she said.

Larry Michael of Clear Spring said he and his wife, Sandie Michael, enjoy the music, and have been to Blues Fest four times. The couple went after church Sunday.

"I like to be outside with good friends and good music," she said.

They were at City Park with their friends Ralph Eavey of Hagerstown and his wife, Marilyn Eavey.

Ted Garringer of Hagerstown said he lives across from City Park and could hear the music from there. But he said he wanted his 2-year-old granddaughter, Gracie Jenkins, to see the petting zoo and other activities.

Garringer said she especially liked the goat, rabbits and birds.

Rick Curry of Hagerstown was waiting with his grandchildren in a line for a tractor ride Sunday and said he came to City Park for the "family atmosphere."

Victoria Hermanowski of Greencastle, Pa., and her daughter, 5-year-old Katie, spent some time petting the animals. Katie said she also played a tambourine.

"She likes music," Hermanowski said. "She likes to sing and dance."

The rain didn't bother the pair, and she said they were going to spend time at the park, rain or shine.

"We like to splash in puddles, too," she said.

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