The town of Coloma will be filled with classic cars and motorcycles on June 14. (Photo by April Watson)
The town of Coloma will be filled with classic cars and motorcycles on June 14. (Photo by April Watson)

Archived Story

Cruise in for blues this Father’s Day

Published 9:14am Thursday, June 5, 2014

COLOMA — If you’re looking for a place to take the family for a relaxing, fun day on Father’s Day weekend, you may want to check out Coloma’s 4th Annual BBQ, Blues and Cruise, scheduled to take place on June 14.

“It’s going to be a beautiful day in Baker Park,” said Chana Kniebes, community development coordinator for North Berrien Community Development, organizers of the festival. “There is a rain date of June 15 if the weather doesn’t cooperate.”

As in past years, admission to the event is free, thanks to the sponsorship of local businesses, and it will include entertainment from four popular blues bands.

“The music will start around 2 p.m. and continue until 10 p.m.,” Kniebes said. “There are going to be four musical groups that are coming, and three of them will be brand new this year. The fourth band—Rum Boogie — is returning, and they will be playing on the Spotlight Stage.”

Main Stage acts for the festival include Gee Daddy’s BIG Blues Revue featuring Martila Sanders, the Out of Favor Boys and Crossroads Resurrection.

“I work on this every year with Randy Pompey,” Kniebes said. “He’s a huge blues fan, and he’s a great judge of which acts to bring in. He will also be the emcee for the event.”

Organizers recommend bringing lawn chairs and blankets to sit on while enjoying the music.

“It’s an alcohol-free event, so it’s a great time to relax and not worry about a thing,” Kniebes said.

“It’s a great family event.”

The day’s festivities will actually begin at 9 a.m. with a classic and muscle car and motorcycle cruise-in sponsored by Coloma businesses. Vehicles can be entered to compete in various categories, and T-shirts will be given to the owners of the first 100 cars that are registered. Organizer Tony Bertucca can be reached at (269) 208-9486 by those with questions.

Along with listening to blues music and viewing classic cars, event-goers will also have the opportunity to sample foods from various local vendors.

“We plan to have several food vendors, including Piggin’ and Grinnin’, which is very popular for their barbecue in Benton Harbor, and also the Phoenix Grill from Watervliet. They’ll be doing polish sausages and brats for those folks who don’t like barbeque,” Kniebes said. “We try to have a good balance at this event.”

Amateurs will also have the opportunity to show off their own barbeque recipes and possibly take home a plaque in a BBQ Cook-Off. Registration for that competition will continue through June 11, and those interested can contact Kniebes at (269) 468-4430 or

“We’re always really excited to put on one of these one-day events,” Kniebes said. “It’s gotten bigger and better every year.”

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