Word association fans 20 years ago likely would not have linked Marietta and "blues" together. Today, those words are as tight as can be in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
The prime example is this past weekend's Red, White and Blues Festival at the Lafayette Hotel in Marietta. It was the 19th annual edition of the musical blowout and all indications are that the event continues to be a huge draw.
This translates to scores of visitors in town Friday and Saturday to catch the entertainment and soak up some of the atmosphere Marietta has to offer including its shops, museums, rivers, parks, restaurants and night spots.
It also gives local residents something unique to see right in their own backyard. Blues music has its own special sound and loyal fan base. And with Marietta hosting blues events, including Red, White and Blues, the city is gaining a reputation as a place blues fans can go to enjoy their kind of music.
Congratulations to those who put on this and all the blues events in Marietta throughout the year. Your efforts are truly being noticed locally and well beyond the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Red, White and Blues is one of the biggest fundraisers for the ReStore organization, which strives to stimulate the downtown economy and improve the quality of life in Marietta.
One look around downtown and riverfront areas during the weekend shows just how successful the blues festival is and what an asset it has become for ReStore and the city of Marietta. There were people everywhere and that's a great thing to see in our town on a balmy summer weekend.
We hope blues fans who had fun at the festival make plans to return soon.