Into The Groove

Lowertown Funk and Blues Festival brings music to Mears Park.
Singer Pippi Ardennia will perform regularly at House of Payne.

The lineup is set, the food trucks are ready and the bar is stocked. It’s time to get funky.

The Lowertown Funk and Blues Festival has been entertaining music lovers at Mears Park for the past four years. Before that, it was called the Famous Dave’s BBQ Fest; after Famous Dave’s dropped the event in 2012, Blues Fest founder Mike Rogers paired up with Steve Heckler from the city of Saint Paul to continue bringing music to the park.

“Adding Funk Night is a big thing for this,” Rogers says. Now in its second year, Funk Night will be held Friday, July 21 while the traditional Blues Fest will take place the following day.

This year, Reneé Austin will be performing at the Blues Fest. After losing her voice in 2005 due to a surgical procedure, she’s made her way back to singing. “I’m grateful to have any opportunity to perform,” she says.

Admission is free, although preferred seating is available for purchase online. Food trucks will be onsite and there are several bars and restaurants surrounding Mears Park including Handsome Hog, Public Kitchen + Bar and Barrio. Free light rail rides are also available by printing out a pass on the Blues Fest website.

July 21  4-10 p.m.
July 22  Noon- 10 p.m
Mears Park
Sixth and Sibley streets