'Blues and BBQ Festival' Set to Offer 'Something for Everyone'

One professional musician, who is slated to perform, said "everyone" will be able to relate to the rock 'n' roll tunes.

The Patterson Rotary Club’s annual Men Who Cook event draws scores of Putnam folks each spring, and organization members are hoping a new fundraiser does the same this weekend.

From 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, the Patterson Fire Department grounds will be filled with classic cars, live music, kid games and more, for the group’s first-ever “Blues & BBQ Festival.” Bill Flash, one of the event’s organizers, and a owner, said there will be “something for everyone.”

“We’re expecting a really good event,” he told Patch, adding that Rotary members hope to make the festival an annual happening. “And we know we’ll be able to build on it in future years.”

Each musical act will play for about an hour. The lineup is as follows: Keyboardist Dave Keyes and sax-player Chris Eminizer; Alternate Universe band out of Connecticut; Strawdog band out of Patterson; Guys Night Out band from Hopewell Junction; Fast, Cheap and Loud from Southeast; and Second Saturday Band from Putnam and Dutchess.

“I thought it was a great idea,” Eminizer, a Patterson resident and professional musician, told Patch. He first heard about the event a couple of months ago. “I think the Rotary does a great job helping the community, so I wanted to help out any way I could.”

Eminizer said folks should expect to hear “traditional boogie-woogie,” a type of piano-based blues music, from Keyes and himself. They have been performing as a duo—for television shows, in bands and on Broadway—for more than a decade. 

“It’s [music] based out of New Orleans and Chicago—it’s the roots of rock ’n’ roll,” he said. “Everyone can relate to it.”

Rotary is encouraging folks to grab a blanket before they head to the firehouse, located on Burdick Road. They should leave the picnic at home, though, as several area businesses—including Pawling-based Wineology, Putnam Lake-based Uncle Louie G’s (Italian ices and ice cream) and Southeast-based —will be in attendance. , from Peekskill, will be there, too, with lots of beer on hand.

With the great food, great music, and everything in between, organizers are hoping several hundred people show. Because there will be no admission fee, and the Rotary will raise funds based on sponsors and concessions, “even breaking even” this first year would be OK with the group, Flash said. Ideally, though, he’s hoping to raise a few thousand dollars.

That money will go to any number of projects the group focuses on in the near future. In the past year, the club reportedly distributed $22,000 to a number of non-profits and community organizations located throughout the region.

Members gather once a week, and Flash, a member of two years, says at any time, someone can “stand up and say, ‘There’s a need I’ve become aware of.’”

“It’s a weekly meeting of fun, good-natured neighbors, who all have the same hobby: Making the world a better place,” Flash said, adding that one of the goals of this weekend’s event is to raise awareness about Rotary.

Rotary International has more than 1.2 million members, according to its website. The organization runs on the motto “Service Above Self.”

There is no rain date for the event. The annual Men Who Cook event has been running for more than 15 years. It’s held at the Starr Ridge Banquet Center in Southeast every April.


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