Who would have thought that with so many events happening in the Twin Cities last weekend that the first annual Camden Town Blues & BBQ Fest would be such a hit?
Attendees packed into the parking lot of North Market, located on 44th and Humboldt Ave. in North Minneapolis to taste the Twin Cities’ best BBQ masters as they competed for cash prizes and the “People’s Choice Award.”
On a warm Saturday afternoon, elders grooved to the smooth tunes provided by KMOJ’s very own Ray Richardson from “Back in the Day” and were entertained by the talented Chantel Sings from the station’s “Morning Show.”
Most patrons brought their lawn chairs and socialized with each other. Many welcomed old and made new friends while enjoying the blues and sampling some good old fashion BBQ.
The event featured live performances by Jamecia Bennett, Wain McFarlane, Jesse Larson Music, Ginger Commodore, and Jellybean Johnson.
The vendors were inviting. But the best thing about the event was that the admission was free.
What a great job from Black Excellence by HWMR’s Houston White who came up with the idea and helped promote and advertise the event. The festival was part of White’s broader vision for Camden Town, a rebrand of the commercial hub in the Webber-Camden neighborhood in northwest Minneapolis.
The mission behind Camden Town is rooted in understanding history, showing respect to those who came before while creating a new reality and a sense of belonging. The goal is to build a thriving inner-city community that works for the people and is built by them.
The community spirit shown at this event makes you look forward to the 2nd Annual Camden Town Blues & BBQ Fest. We can only hope that this is the start of a new and prosperous Northside tradition.
Nikki Love is a contributing writer at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.