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Embrace the blues at the fairgrounds

When it comes to outdoor festivals, good weather can be a linchpin.

But that's just what's been missing at the last two installments of the annual Baltimore Blues Festival.

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First, a blustery torrent swept through the celebration in 2002. And last season, festivalgoers were soaked by a storm that lasted days.

Those gloomy, soggy conditions may have been the ruin of lesser parties, but the bad weather has been no match for this festival's regular and die-hard attendees, said organizer Carole Carroll.

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"We still had an OK crowd," Carroll said cheerily, adding that some festivalgoers even liked the rain because it added to the "complete experience."

And though she's "knocking on wood" that this year's event will break what's becoming a wet tradition for the Blues Festival, Carroll said the show will go on regardless of the weather.

"Unless a tidal wave comes," she joked.

The Baltimore Blues Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium. Hours are noon-10 p.m. Saturday and noon-7 p.m. Sunday, rain or shine. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Children 12 and under are free. Call 800-830-3976 or visit www.baltimorebluesfestival.com.

Blues highlights

Check out the performance schedule for this year's event.

Saturday

1 p.m.: The Queen Sisters

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2 p.m.: Jesse Yawn

3 p.m.: Catfish Hodge

4 p.m.: Skeeter Brandon

5 p.m.: Robert Lighthouse

6 p.m.: Lester Chambers

7:30 p.m.: T-Model Ford

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8:30 p.m.: The Iguanas

Sunday

1 p.m.: The Jamie Lynch Band featuring Robert Frahm

2 p.m.: Kelly Bell Band

3 p.m.: Steve Guyger

4 p.m.: John Mooney and Bluesiana

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5 p.m.: T-Model Ford

6 p.m.: Levon Helm featuring Little Sammy Davis


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