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On Saturday, September 16th Cambridge Main Street organized Downtown GrooveFEST: blues, Brews & BBQs featuring great live music, a friendly BBQ Competition, and the IRONMAN Main Street Mile.

The program kicked off at 12pm at 447 Race Street with performing artist interviews with the bands SoulTET and Uphill. A Guided “Groove City” walking tour, facilitated by Eastern Shore Network for Change at 2pm explored the people and places that inspired the name “Groove City” and some of the current inspiration to revive the historically African American community in Cambridge. At 3pm Chris “Catdaddy” Palistrant and Adam “Deacon Blues” Nixon hosted a Mojo 101 workshop, an interactive presentation of the various musical blues styles recognized across the country.

At 5pm Music kicked off with a free street festival along the 500 block of Poplar Street and the 400 block of Race Street. With two stages book-ending the festival, the event was full of live performances from regional blues, funk, jazz, and RnB musicians. The Cambridge South Dorchester High School Jazz Band kicked off the event at the Muir Street stage. Appearances by Chris & Greyson English, The Young Senators Reloaded, SoulTET, and Uphill. Bands came from Baltimore, Washington D.C., Salisbury, and Elizabeth City, NC.

A friendly BBQ competition also took place between 5pm – 8:30pm with dishes by Low & Slow BBQ, Cambridge Spice Company, Bistro Poplar, Stoked, and High Spot. Dishes spanned pork, Beef Brisket, Chicken, and even goat! The winner of the competition was “Cambridge Spice Company” by 2 votes! Next was “Low & Slow BBQ”!

The event also saw the return of a “Summer Send-Off” favorite, the IRONMAN Maryland Main Street Mile. A fun “triathlon” relay race including for team members who use a set scuba mask & fins, tricycle, and egg & spoon to “swim”, “bike”, and “run” for bragging rights.

A limited number of remaining GrooveFEST event Tee Shirts and event posters are on sale through our online store!

We would like to thank several folks for the success of Saturday, September 16th. Including our Sponsors below.

Thank you to some special volunteer super stars who came through for us on event day when we really needed it under special circumstances: Mid-South Audio, Scott Milligan, Michael Wheatley, Phil Reed, Thomas Weinrich, Brian Snow, Shelby Clendaniel, Paul Clipper, Donna Flaggs, and Cindy Smith. Thank you for your support for our efforts to revitalize downtown Cambridge!