By LOIS KINDLE
The Firehouse Cultural Center is set to host one of its biggest parties of the year Oct. 12 when this year’s annual Blues & Bar-B-Que kicks off at 5:30 p.m.
“Last year, we had at least 250 people turn out, and with the music, food and auction items, everyone had a blast,” said Beth Stein, the center’s operations and events coordinator. “Blues, barbecue and beer go hand in hand, and there will be plenty on hand at this year’s event.”
The 6th Firehouse Cultural Center’s 6th annual Blues & Bar-B-Que will take place at 101 First Ave. NE, Ruskin, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
“This is one of our major fundraisers, and we are so looking forward to it again this year,” Stein said. “It’s a feast of food, great music and fun.”
The music will be a great blend of country and blues played by Rick Hatfield, Bob Paskowsky and Double E, and Buttman BBQ is cooking up the tasty buffet.
New this year will be an outdoor performance by the Ruskin Redneck Jubilee Band, four 7-foot, semi-portable marionettes created by Shelley Davis, of Valrico, with the assistance of Michael Parker, of Ruskin. The puppets, which include a ‘possum jug player, ‘gator on washtub bass, mosquito on license plate banjo and an armadillo washboard player, will perform to pre-recorded bluegrass music in the parking lot. Their construction was funded by the South Shore Arts Council through a Community Foundation of Tampa Bay grant.
“This a must-see creation,” Stein said. “I’ve seen them and find them fascinating. They are unique pieces of artistry and workmanship.”
The event will also include raffles for three frames of $100 in lotto tickets, a gift card tree and several nice gift baskets. Tickets for the lotto frame drawings are $5 apiece or $20 for five. Tickets for the gift baskets are $1 each or six for $5.
Tickets are $25 per person (or $10 for kids 12 and younger) for the meal and entertainment. You’ll have your choice of a chicken, pulled pork or rib platter, two sides, tea and dessert. Beer and wine will be sold separately. Parking is free.
If you can’t stay, you can still support the cultural center by picking up a meal for yourself or the family and taking it home.
All proceeds will go to Firehouse Cultural Center Art & Educational Program scholarships. These provide free summer camps for up to 300 children in need; community events like the annual Draw In and a variety of art and writing classes for adults.
Last year, the event raised almost $5,000.
For tickets, call 813-645-7651 or visit https://bit.ly/2oAuP4g. For information on upcoming Firehouse Cultural Center programs and events, visit www.firehouseculturalcenter.org/events or the center’s Facebook page.