What better way is there to spend the extra 24 hours available this month on Feb. 29 than to celebrate it with some awesome blues music? At least that’s the opinion of one Antioch event promoter who’s inviting locals to this year’s Delta Blues Festival Benefit Concert 2020.
“This Feb. 29, 2020, intends to be the best night of blues this town has ever seen,” said organizer Frank Giovanni. “We’ve turned up the heat this year and are bringing you some big talent — with some surprise guests poking their heads in here and there.”
The highlighted lineup for the annual event, once again located at the El Campanil Theatre in downtown Antioch, will include blues with infused rock; guitarist Eric Gales; versatile musician, singer and entertainer Alvon Johnson, known simply as Alvon; and award-winning singer Tia Carroll.
Fans of blues music embrace the sounds of southern soul, immersed in lyrical emotions and sultry melodies. Blues can invoke a range of emotions, with everything from joy to anguish, but blues can also include fun-loving dance music that celebrates life’s successes. Giovanni said this year has it all.
The Delta Blues Festival Benefit Concert started off as a way to help raise money for the Delta Blues Festival which began in 1999 and no longer is hosted as an event. The festival was a dream by local resident Dave Williamson with the idea to make a family event centered around his love of blues music. When Williamson passed away in 2003, the group continued to present the festival in his honor for several years. With his passing the organizer started a scholarship fund in Williamson’s memory with proceeds from the annual festival offered to a student of an Antioch high school studying music in college. The benefit concert later became the source of funding for the scholarship.
“We’re most looking forward to handing out $16,000 in grants and scholarships this year,” Giovanni said. “This will be the most we’ve ever given away. Tickets are already selling out faster than they have in previous years.”
The benefit concert takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. Feb. 29. Reserved Seating Gold Circle (first three rows) tickets are $40 each. Adult general admission tickets are $30; senior (62 and over) tickets are $28 each. Children’s (ages 10 to 17) tickets are $15 each. For more information got to elcampaniltheatre.com/dbf-2020.html or see the event Facebook site at facebook.com/deltabluesfestivalbenefitconcert.
Planting day: The California Department of Water Resources is looking for volunteers to help plant native plants at the Dutch Slough Tidal Marsh Restoration from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 29 in Oakley. The Water Resources Department will be joined by the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District, the Friends of the Marsh Creek Watershed and Reclamation District 2137. The plan is for volunteers to plant native tule plugs in this historic 1,100-acre tidal marsh.
Online registration for this event ends at 3 p.m. Feb. 28. Due to parking constraints only 75 registrants will be accepted. They encourage carpooling and are still working to determine the maximum number of cars the property parking can hold. If the event reads “sold out,” they ask that willing volunteers join the waitlist in the event that they are able to release more tickets. Any rain would cancel the event. For tickets go to eventbrite.com/e/volunteer-planting-at-dutch-slough-tidal-marsh-restoration-registration-90997468879 to register. Any questions can be directed to Ben Weise at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-690-4145.
Youth Employment Fair: The Antioch recreation department will host a youth employment fair in hopes of hiring lifeguards, camp leaders and more at the Nick Rodriquez Center, 213 F St. in downtown Antioch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 22. This is the time to fill out job applications and interview for the upcoming jobs. No RSVP is required. For more information, call 925-776-3050.
Roni Gehlke can be reached at email@example.com.