Blues & BBQ served up this weekend at Carpentersville festival

Duke's Blues Festival returns this weekend at a new location.

Typically held in downtown East Dundee, the two-day festival this year moves to Carpenter Park, Spring Street and Carpenter Boulevard in Carpentersville.

"We had 10,000 people last year for the weekend," said Duke Seward, owner of Dukes Blues-N-BBQ restaurant in East Dundee. "This is just a bigger venue."

Carpenter Park provides a stage and larger area for guests, Seward said.

"We're glad to have him, for sure," said Carpentersville Village President John Skillman.

The festival is presented by Seward's nonprofit, Taste the Love, which has helped families in need by providing holiday meals or school supplies. Last year, the organization's Food is Love Christmas event helped more than 600 people, and a back-to-school drive provided more than 500 backpacks for students in need, Seward said.

"That's the reason I like to go bigger and bigger every year (with the festival)," said Seward, who started the festival in 2017. "The bigger we get, the more impact we can have."

The festival kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday with the Dundee-Crown High School marching band. Other musical acts for Friday evening include Blues Hart, Ivan Singh and Nu Blu.

On Saturday, music starts at noon with Tammy Johnson. Other musical acts include Alicia "Ya Yah" Townsend, Ruth Ward "Mama Bear," Sharay Reed, Big Daddy Mojo, Bottled Blues and Luke Repass. Alton "Big Drummer Boy" and Cesare Salad & The Spicy Croutons will also perform between sets. Performances end at 11 p.m. both nights.

Admission to the festival is free. Food and beverages from a variety of vendors will be available for purchase. Signs directing festivalgoers to designated parking areas also will be posted near the park.

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