Residents help raise money for local renovation

Residents help raise money for local renovation

Baldwin City residents experienced the sound of blues music and good food as the fourth annual Blues and Barbecue took place Oct. 6 downtown.

Sandy Cardens, one of the founders of the event, said the proceeds help raise money for the Lumberyard Arts Center project.

“We are renovating the Lumberyard into an arts center,” she said. “This building is going to be available for the community to use. It will have an art gallery, offices, classrooms and a theater that seats 196.”

Cardens said it’s not easy to get what she and other founders have been planning for.

“It takes a lot of energy,” she said. “I want to see this happen. I think the community can benefit from it, and we always need young volunteers to help with the fundraising.”

Cardens said Blues and Barbecue continues to grow.

“Every year the turnout grows larger,” she said. “I just like the music, and I like talking to people. We want the community to come and see what we are doing.”

Diane Niehoff, president of the lumberyard arts center project, serves and greets people every year at the event.

“I just like seeing all the people that are supporting our event,” she said.

The event also included live bands, coordinated by Gloria Roach.

“There were two different bands this year,” Niehoff said. “One was called Road Hoag and the other one was called Blues Tradition.”

Some people, including Baldwin City Council Member Ken Wagner, attend the event because they enjoy the food and entertainment that is provided.

“I’ve attended all four of the events,” Wagner said. “It really gives you an opportunity to get to talk to others. Baldwin is such a rich community, and I like to be a part of it.”

Wagner has lived in Baldwin City for 10 years and would like to see the Lumberyard Arts Center built. He said each year the Blues and Barbecue event improves.

“The quality of the music continues to get better,” he said. “I think that’s a good sign. Being here kind of takes you back to Baldwin’s roots.”

Families aren’t the only people you can bring to the event that is held every year on the first Saturday in October.

“I come with friends from the community,” Wagner said. “I’ve had people from Kansas City come.”