The work day came to a close and on the way home I tried to figure out what I wanted to do tonight. Initially it was just going to be a simple dinner and maybe a movie at home. I turned on some music (Rich Price, Sweet Remains, Peter Day, and a few others) and turned up the volume. As I drove home, I started thinking about the chatter from all the #BTV folks on Twitter and remembered that Jazz Fest was in town. It’s Friday night, no where to be tomorrow, and good tunes on the radio really got me in the mood to go downtown for some eats, a beer or two, and some more good music.
After walking the dog and a very quick snack (we figured the wait was going to be over an hour no matter where we went) we headed downtown. Church Street was slammed as we made our way down from the top of the block. With no real destination in mind, we ended up at the Farm House Tap & Grill. While they didn’t have live music, they were close enough to Church St. that we could hear some spill over and still have a conversation.
After dinner, we walked around the corner and watched the stage in front of Ken’s Pizza for a while. From our Southerly location, we couldn’t see much of the stage, but the music was solid with exceptionally tight drumming. As we rounded the corner of the stage, we discovered why: Russ Lawton was on drums. If you haven’t seen him play, check out anything he’s listed on. I haven’t seen him around lately, but he’s in town a lot this week and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him!
Of course, Dux The Balloon Man was out twisting flowers, swords, wands, and (of course ducks!) If you haven’t stopped to get a balloon, I recommend it. He’s a fun guy, great with kids, and I’m always entertained just watching him effortlessly craft his work. I hear he’s going to have something special lined up for the Independence Day festivities down on the Burlington Waterfront.
It was a B&W night, but he screams for color!
And finally at the top of the block, a good crowd was gathered for some funk. I didn’t catch the name of the act, but we enjoyed a few songs as we checked out the crowd and statue of Big Joe Burrell, well crafted and placed outside of Halvorson’s as a perfect tribute to the man.
Seeing Big Joe’s image while walking around Church St. during Jazz Fest really brought back some great memories of past years’ events with my Dad. It’s a really great time of year in Burlington. There’s something new going on behind every door and on every block. Occasionally you’re surprised with something fantastic, but you’re guaranteed to at least hear something good and the atmosphere, with smiling faces all around, can’t be beat. We haven’t made it down much for the last few festivals, but I hope we make a few more events this week. See you down there?