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Third Annual JAB Fest Oct. 21-22
– Free two day event will bring professional jazz, blues talents, art and more to downtown Live Oak
Above: Beth McKee and band performing at the 2014 Jab Fest. -Photo: SVT Archives
By Gabrielle Stevenson
The Third Annual Jazz, Arts and Blues Festival is set to entertain locals and visitors alike in downtown Live Oak’s Festival Park, located on Howard Street (U.S. Highway 90), on October 21 and 22. Since it’s first year, JAB Fest left attendees with an unprecedented experience as the professionalism of the entertainers, artists and festival organization was that of a long established quality - and completely free to the public. This year, the festival will span over two days and will feature professional jazz and blues musicians such as Little Jake & The Soul Searchers, Longineu Parsons, 21 BLUE, Beth McKee, Ramblin’ Mutts Blues Band, Teeny Tucker and more.
According to JAB Fest Chairman and Live Oak City Councilman, Keith Mixon, the event’s team of coordinators knew that “Long days are difficult so we condensed the time to give people a chance to get things done during the day and come enjoy for the afternoon and evening. Also, it gives folks that are traveling a better opportunity to get here. We have very good, professional talent coming.”
The art portion of the event will feature over 20 different hand-selected artists and will be separate from other vendors. There will also be a food court area and beer and wine garden. The gates will open at 4 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday and many local businesses surrounding Festival Park will remain open during the event for guests to browse and shop. Live Oak’s own Frame Shop & Gallery will be doing portraits in house during the fest.
Everyone from the local community and surrounding area is invited and encouraged to bring their chairs, blankets and coolers to enjoy this spectacular festival aimed to please. Mixon said, “It’s a great family event. We’ve had a lot of response and phone calls. I think we’ll have a very good crowd for both days. I think it’s going to be a great weekend of great music and art.”
Mixon is also Chairman of the Community Redevelopment Agency and said he and his team want to see the festival continue to grow in numbers and quality. He explained where the idea for the festival originally came from stating, “The whole thing started as a way to bring people from outside Live Oak inside to meet us. People don’t know how great this city is. I hope everybody will take the opportunity to come down and enjoy Live Oak at this downtown festival.”
While discussing the success of this festival and others held in Live Oak throughout the year, Mixon explained, “We’re still working on the possibility of Amtrak in Live Oak and that’s quietly being discussed. It’s taking a lot of effort, but I will say this. The Amtrak officials that we’ve talked with and came through with us the day on the train were just absolutely impressed that we do these festivals downtown. The future is convincing people like Amtrak and employers that Live Oak is a good place for them to be located. Quality of life is important to all these types of folks. That’s another aspect that will make a greater community for Live Oak, reaching out for opportunities like this.”
VIP tickets ($40) and VIP tables ($100) will be available for purchase up until the day of the event and include more than just the best seats. For more information about JAB Fest’s entertainment lineup, VIP tickets and more, visit their website at liveoakjabfest.org or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/JazzArtsBluesFest.