Music and barbecue are returning to Olde Town this summer to support Habitat for Humanity.
The Duke Street Kings’ 16th annual Blues N BBQ Festival will be noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 14, on Grandview Avenue between Olde Wadsworth Boulevard and Upham Street.
The festival features 18 bands that donate their time and talent to the festival in support of the Habitat for Humanity as well as a variety of food vendors, many of which are local, who serve fresh barbecue.
Ranger Miller, the lead singer of the Duke Street Kings, came up with the idea to start the festival and founded the Blues and BBQ For Better Housing foundation after he participated in a build years ago.
“I’m an airline pilot and when I first started at United I did work at Habitat for Humanity,” Miller said. “I was really impressed. It was really cool. I have done a lot of volunteer work, and a lot of the time you feel like you didn’t make much of a difference. That day at Habitat was awesome. I met the people who got the house and worked side by side with them. It made a big impression.”
Around the same time, the Duke Street Kings got back together after a 15-year hiatus.
“We were lining up cool stuff to play and we thought ‘Let’s do something for them. Let’s do a fundraiser,” Miller said.
The first year, the Duke Street Kings played and raised $300 for Habitat for Humanity.
Their sixth year they moved to the D Note, 7519 Grandview Ave. in Olde Town and raised about $9,500.
In 2009, the Duke Street Kings took the fun to the streets, and have hosted street festivals with numerous bands since. Last year the festival raised $20,000 for Habitat for Humanity.
This year’s goal is to raise $25,000 to $30,000 for Habitat.
An average house costs about $80,000 for Habitat to build, meaning the festival could help build about a one-third of a house, Miller said.
“At the beginning, I just loved Habitat,” Miller said. “Over the years, we’ve done so many years, we’ve established a bond. The more we work with them, the more we love them.”
The Blues and BBQ for Better Housing foundation will even be a Silver Star sponsor for President Jimmy Carter’s Denver build in October and will have two representatives helping with the build each day.
Because the foundation is 501c3 nonprofit, people can donate to support the foundation and Habitat for Humanity year-around as well via the website www.bluesnbbq.com.
The festival will feature three stages — one in the Community Banks of Colorado, 7530 Grandview Ave., parking lot, one at Vance Street and Grandview and one at Upham and Grandview. Tickets for the festival are $10 per person with children 12 and younger free. Beer from Coors and Arvada Beer Company and wine from Silver Vines Winery is $5 each and a variety of food vendors will be selling food.
“The music is why you should come,” Miller said. “It’s fun to get out and have a beer. There’s lots of good food and all the money goes to Habitat of metro Denver.”
For more information about the Blues N BBQ Festival, visit www.bluesnbbq.com or call Miller at 720-480-4477.