By LOIS KINDLE
If you enjoy great barbecue and blues music, you won’t want to miss the Firehouse Cultural Center’s upcoming fundraiser to benefit its various arts and educational programs and free community events. It’s time for its 7th Annual BBQ & Blues.
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the Nov. 14 event will be drive through only, and it will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at 102 First Ave. NE, Ruskin. Patrons will receive generous portions of Buttman’s hot, smokin’ BBQ and fixings, plus a free, special compilation of authentic blues music performed during past Firehouse events. The cost is $25, payable in advance. RSVPs are due by Nov. 11.
“The meal this year includes a three-meat platter of chicken, pulled pork and brisket; potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw and dessert,” said Beth Stein, marketing and events coordinator for the Firehouse Cultural Center. “We want folks to feel they’re receiving a real value for their contribution, since we can’t offer the event’s social aspects this year. Everything, including the CD, will be packaged in a nice tote.”
A quart of fresh lemonade is available for an additional $3. And it comes with a recipe card for adding a “kick.”
The CD provides a feel for the talent that performs at the cultural center all year long, Stein said. It includes live recordings from past performances by the Blues All Stars (“Maintenance Man”); Tim Costello and Friends (“Soon as I Get Paid”); Victoria Ginty (“Dangerous Mood”); Andre Ray (“You Gotta Move”); David Gerald (“Cold Shot”); Brian Lee (“Beautician Blues”); Mitch Woods (“Blue Monday”); Charlie Morris (“Buckle Up, Baby”); Jimmy Griswald, (“Blues for Roy”); JP Soars (“We Gotta Go”); and the Cadillac Cowboys (“Stolen Accordion Blues”).
“Even if you don’t want to purchase food, you can support the Firehouse by calling or going online to purchase tickets for a chance to win one or more lotto frames of $100 worth of tickets each,” Stein said. “The cost is $5 per ticket or $20 for 5 tickets.”
Tickets for the drawing must be bought in advance by 3 p.m. Nov. 14. The winning numbers will be drawn at 4 p.m. that day, and winners will be notified to pick up their frames at or after the event.
The drive-through will take place on the Studio side of the cultural center. Everyone will enter from Second Street Northeast, follow signage though the Studio parking lot and exit via First Street Northeast. It’s designed to be a smooth operation.
“This is our second largest fundraiser of the year to benefit programs like our free kids and teens art studio; community events, including our Draw In; and poetry, lecture and literature workshops,” Stein said. “We hope that despite the fact we can’t gather socially, this will still be a fun event for everyone to support a worthy cause.”
For information, event RSVPs and lotto-frame ticket purchases, call 813-645-7651 or visit www.firehouseculturalcenter.org.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: 7th Annual BBQ & Blues (drive-thru only event)
WHERE: Firehouse Cultural Center Studio, 102 First Ave. NE, Ruskin
WHEN: 5 to 7 p.m., Nov. 14
HIGHLIGHTS: Buttman’s BBQ platter of three meats, all the fixings, dessert and free blues CD
COST: $25, payable in advance; RSVP by Nov. 11
EXTRA: Lotto Frame Drawing; tickets are $5 for one, $20 for 5; purchase by 3 p.m. Nov. 14
INFO, TICKETS, RSVP: 813-645-7651 or www.firehouseculturalcenter.org