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2010 JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL Clarksdale, Mississippi --
A decade into the 21st Century, Mississippi's juke joints are still the stars of Clarksdale's annual Juke Joint Festival & Related Events this April 16-18. Pre-sale wristbands are now on sale for the world-famous event at www.jukejointfestival.com.

"We're the only festival in the world where some raggedy old blues clubs are as important as the festival's big headliners," explained Roger Stolle, music coordinator for the festival and owner of the Cat Head blues store. "We offer the music, culture and history that no other blues event outside of the Delta can match. Honestly, you could say it's one of the world's most authentic blues fests."

Juke Joint Travels
Now in its seventh year, Juke Joint Festival regularly draws attendees from over 15 foreign countries and nearly all 50 US states. Still, the homegrown event holds a special place in the hearts of locals festival-goers as well.

"Juke Joint Festival truly lives up to its tag line," said Nan Hughes, president of the Clarksdale Downtown Development Association that puts on the popular festival. "It's half blues festival, half small-town fair and all about the Delta. From a student art show and racing pigs to a mini film fest and plenty of blues music, it's got it all -- something for everyone."

The Juke Joint Festival itself is Saturday, April 18th, with related events on that Friday and Sunday. Kicking off on Saturday with a 5K/8K run at 8am, the vendor booths and live music fire up at 10am. With the exception of music and education events on the Delta Blues Museum's outdoor main stage, most of the daytime entertainment will wrap up around 5pm. The main stage runs till 7pm.

At 9pm, the juke joints themselves become part of the action.

"This year, we anticipate having as many as 17 nighttime juke joint stages," according to Stolle. "From big clubs that hold 200 people to tiny jukes that hold 30, we've got it all."

At press time, official festival nighttime venues include Ground Zero Blues Club, Red's Lounge, Sarah's Kitchen, Delta Amusement Cafe, Tricia's, Bluesberry Cafe, Stone Pony, Hambone Gallery, Club 2000, Messenger's, Pete's Grill, Delta Blues Room, Anniebelle's, Hopson Commissary (front stage and back porch), Juke Joint Chapel at Shackup Inn and Hick's Tamales.

Musical acts performing in Clarksdale during festival weekend include Honeyboy Edwards, Big George Brock, Super Chikan, Big Jack Johnson, Watermelon Slim, Jimbo Mathus, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm, Johnny Rawls, Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band, Blind "Mississippi" Morris, Stacy Mitchhart, James "T-Model" Ford, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, Terry "Big T" Williams, Foster "Mr. Tater" Wiley, Robert "Wolfman" Belfour, Josh "Razorblade" Stewart, Guitar Mikey, Robert "Bilbo" Walker, Cedell Davis and dozens more. In total, over 50 blues acts will play in town as a result of festival events.

As always, the price is right for Juke Joint Festival.

"We want everyone to come out and enjoy the festivities," said festival co-organizer Goldie Hirshberg. "The official daytime events are free once again, and the nighttime wristband is still only $10 -- the same price it was seven years ago when the festival started."

Pre-sale wristbands are now on sale exclusively at www.jukejointfestival.com. The web site also features additional festival information. To become a vendor, sponsor or donor, contact Nan Hughes at pba@cableone.net or 662-624-4066.

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