By LOIS KINDLE
The fun begins at 5 p.m. and ends at 10, so there’s plenty of time to stop by, whether it’s for a short period of time or the entire evening, said Melanie Rimes, executive director of the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce, host of the event.
“You can grab dinner, visit with friends and neighbors, enjoy some awesome music and meet one-one-one with participating local business and nonprofit chamber members,” she said. “The atmosphere is fun and laid back. It’s a great place to come after work, spend Happy Hour or just hang out.”
Everything takes place in the grassy area in front of Winn Dixie, 205 Harbor Village Lane. The event features live blues music; beer supplied by Pepin Distributing; freshly prepared barbecue dinners and concession foods; and a free activities area for the kids.
There’s no charge for admission or parking. Food, beer and other beverages are for sale.
Speaking of food, Buttman’s BBQ will be on hand, offering ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork sandwiches and owner Wesley Burnett’s famous frozen sweet tea for the seventh time.
“I’m looking forward to being there,” he said. “It’s a great community event, and a good way for me to get my name out there. I always look forward to working with the SouthShore Chamber.”
Other food vendors will include C&J Specialty, Econo Catering and J&J Barbecue.
Commercial or nonprofit vendors will include The Manic Beader, Trustco Bank, South Shore Anglers, CATE Foundation, The Crossing and Christ Community churches, Drew’s RV Techs, Escape Strategy, Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort no-kill animal shelter and more.
Live blues music will be performed first by the Albert Castiglia Band, followed by the Sean Chambers Band. Each will perform for 90 minutes, and then they will jam together the last hour of the evening.
The commercial-vendor area closes at 8 p.m., but the food and beverage vendors remain open, while the entertainment continues until closing.
As in the past, several thousand people are expected to attend.
The 9th annual Pigs in the Parking Lot BBQ, Beer & Blues Festival is being sponsored this year by Easy AC, Mosaic, Mosquito Squad, Next Generation Solutions and Pepin Distributing.
If you like the blues, enjoy chilling and want to join this big community block party, mark May 18 on your calendar now. It’s a must-not miss, Rimes said.
Kathy Eckhart and her husband Roger, certainly won’t.
“We discovered Pigs in the Parking Lot last year and loved it, she said. “It’s a wonderful, informal, family event. It’s free, the music is great, and the food’s even better. It also has some interesting vendors. We’ll definitely be going back again this year.”
To become a commercial or nonprofit vendor, or for more information, call Leslie at 813-645-1366 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.