NEW ULM - Several new bands will appear for the first time ever this weekend at 2012 Riverblast in Riverside Park.
"We've got quite a treat on Friday night with a band that finished second at the Memphis International Blues Challenge - Eric "Guitar" Davis and the Troublemakers," said event organizer and Coalition for a Clean Minnesota River (CCMR) Executive Director Scott Sparlin.
"Eric Davis is Buddy Guy's protege. He got his guitar from Buddy Guy," Sparlin added.
The Chicago-based band will take stage from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday at Riverside Park.
Besides touring Europe three times with the Luca Giordana Band, Davis has performed with Guy, B.B. King, Little Ed and the Blues Imperials, Booker T and the MGs, and many others in Chicago, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri, Michigan and Minnesota.
The Barefoot Winos and their own brand of blues take stage from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. The band has began captivating southern Minnesota audiences in 1989.
If you go
What: 2012 Riverblast Free Cultural Event and Festival
When: Friday, Saturday, Aug. 31, Sept. 1
Where: Riverside Park, New Ulm; Admission: free
The Donnie Klossner One Man Band Music mit Herz will perform from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, followed by The Little Prairie Pickers from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and the Bockfest Boys from 5 to 8 p.m. Smokehouse takes stage with its rock, blues and country music from 8:30 p.m. to close.
"Smokehouse is a really good band that tours Montana, North and South Dakota, southern Canada, Wisconsin and Minnesota," Sparlin said.
Primitive, first-come, first-serve camping opens at 5 p.m. Thursday. Cost is $25 per site for one camping unit and support vehicle for the entire festival. Dogs must be on leash and are not allowed at the festival site. No glass containers or coolers are allowed at the fest site.
Food and beverages available include barbecue ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, brats, hot dogs, beans, cole slaw, Schell's and Grain Belt beer, wine coolers, pop and coffee.
Bicycle tours of 20- and 37-mile roundtrip to the Harkin Store and Fort Ridgely State Park following the river valley "bottom road" begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Riverside Park. Helmets are required.
The Regional River History and Information Center in the old schoolhouse at Riverside Park will be open to the public throughout the event.
Raffle tickets will be sold to win two hand-crafted, Adirondack chairs with foot rests and a Riverblast-inscribed table.
Face-painting, trolley and horse-drawn coach rides will be available Saturday.
For more information, visit www.riverblast.org
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at email@example.com).