25th Annual Riverfront Blues Festival Attracts Hundreds

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- The 25th annual Riverfront Blues Festival attracted hundreds of people to Fort Smith this weekend.

"Twenty-five years was pretty special to us because not many festivals make it 25 years,” President of the Board of the Fort Smith Riverfront Blues Society Dwight Hopkins said.

This year, they added a car show, artwork, and an indoor exhibit on the history of the blues.

“It’s a big anniversary,” festival-goer Heather Morris said.

Morris has been to the festival before, and she's back again this year.

“A lot of things go by the wayside after a few years but this has really stood the test of time,” she said.

Hopkins said blues music is the foundation for most other genres.

“You'll hear things that sound a little bit rock and roll, you'll hear things that sound a little jazzy, you'll hear things that even sound a little country -- but they all trace their roots back to the blues, and it's where most musicians get their inspiration from in some fashion,” he said.

Terry Buckalew gave a presentation on the new exhibit this year, and said it’s important to remember the history of blues in Arkansas.

"The blues music that developed here in Arkansas is as important, as good, as influential as music that came from Mississippi -- a state for instance, which is probably more famous for blues. From Louisiana, from Memphis -- some of the best music in the world came from Arkansas,” Buckalew said.

Organizers said it takes about 11 months to plan the event.

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