The remarkable transformation of downtown Terre Haute from a tired, worn-down Midwestern commercial center to a re-born, vibrant hub of niche retail, urban living, the arts and community activity has been a gradual process. It’s taken time, patience, energy and the persistent vision of a few to keep it on track.
One cannot talk about this revival period without acknowledging the annual late-summer music event known as Blues at the Crossroads, which was among the early arrivals to the growing calendar of downtown activities.
Tonight, at the intersection of Seventh and Wabash, the BluesFest opens for business for the 12th time. It will resume late Saturday afternoon and go throughout the evening and night. It is among the more glorious parties of the year, which should be obvious by the fact that it has in previous years drawn upwards of 8,000 people over its two-day run.
You don’t have to be a fan of the blues to appreciate this event and what it has meant to the city. The festival’s success provides clear evidence that people will come downtown and pay a modest price to enjoy the music and atmosphere this event provides. Because its outdoor venue requires cooperation and coordination from multiple sectors of the community, it shows that people with diverse interests are willing to come together and embrace the fact that this festival showcases downtown in a way that ultimately benefits us all.
It has not always been easy, but it’s worth the extra effort to work out challenges and resolve issues in the community’s best interests.
We applaud the continued hard work and vision of BluesFest founder Connie Wrin, owner of the Verve nightclub on Wabash, and all those who have jumped in to help ensure this event keeps going and is successful.
The musical lineup looks fabulous, as usual, and the bands are sure to have attendees dancing in the streets throughout the weekend. We urge you to join them.
More fun for the pre-fall calendar
We would be remiss not to mention another longtime Terre Haute activity already under way downtown. The Oktoberfest opened Thursday and runs through Saturday at the Clabber girl marketplace at Ninth and Cherry streets.
The German Oberlandler Club always puts on a great show with food and music.
For downtown, it doesn’t get much better than this.