Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival offers fun music, great drinks and free entry | Applause

SELINSGROVE – A last minute cancellation changed the entertainment for this event and resulted in free entry for all.

The Blues, Brews, & BBQ Festival, featuring the legendary Joe Louis Walker, the Ann Kerstetter Band and Jeff Oshetski, takes place Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Susquehanna Valley Event Center.

After unforeseeable contractual obligations caused Dana Fuchs to cancel her participation in the event, the organizers felt that there was “no other acceptable action” than to refund all tickets reserved.

“We don’t regularly refund,” said Ben Ehrsam, owner with his parents, Ed and Kathy Ehrsam, of the Susquehanna Valley Event Center. “However, when the main headliner cancels, you’re not keeping someone’s money and giving them a refund. To me, that’s just plain wrong.

Even after replacing Fuchs with talented and popular artists, the Ehrsams decided to offer the musical event for free. Joe Louis Walker will headline the festival, backed by the energetic Ann Kerstetter Band and a solo from singer/songwriter Jeff Oshetski.

“Jeff Oshetski plays all kinds of different music,” Ehrsam said. “He deals with all musical genres. He will play the blues.

With a career that spans more than half a century, Joe Louis Walker is a Blues Hall of Fame inductee and a four-time Blues Music Award winner.

“Joe Louis Walker has won national awards for his music. He’s definitely a well-known blues artist,” Ehrsam said.

Ann Kerstetter’s onstage energy makes for a memorable performance. She recalled a fan recently telling her, “You’re crazy. We like that.”

” I’m an artist. I can’t help it,” Kerstetter said. “I love talking to people on stage. I don’t think anyone will ever accuse me of being what I call a wallpaper musician.

“I love Ann and I love the music she plays,” Ehrsam said. “I think she’s just amazing. She has a great way of interacting with the crowd.

The Ehrsams attempted to hold a Blues, Brews & BBQ festival last year, but it was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. They are looking forward to it this year, with at least seven breweries, wineries and distilleries as well as several food trucks.

“We have plenty of room (to spread out socially),” Ehrsam said. “We try to create the best atmosphere possible.”

The Susquehanna Valley event location is flat and ADA accessible. Customers are welcome to bring lawn chairs, blankets or 10×10 easy-ups. Backpacks are allowed and subject to search.

The event will feature different drink options, free entertainment and lots of food.

“It’s a bit of everything,” Ehrsam said. “We just rode with what we had and made it a free event.”

Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Email your comments to CindyOHerman@gmail.com

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