With weather forecasts calling for thunderstorms and heavy rains on Saturday, the Down Home Blues Fest has been rescheduled to June 22 in Florewood Park.

Festival promoter John Ray said the forecasts for lightning storms made the gathering unsafe for concertgoers and performers. The June 22 date will allow nearly all of the same acts to appear.

Ray said all of the 2,500 to 3,000 tickets that had been sold would be honored. He hoped to be able to draw another 8,000 to 10,000 people to the event.

“The risk’s too great for all the money we’ve got invested and all the work the wonderful people at the county there have done with the park,” Ray said. Forecasts called for “a typhoon of sorts,” he said, adding, “It’s going to rain all the way through Sunday.”

The National Weather Service puts the chance of thunderstorms all day Saturday at 90%.

The all-day music and food festival was to be the first big event at the former state park at 1999 County Road 145, less than a half-mile south of U.S. 82.

County supervisors Anjuan Brown, whose District 3 includes the park, and Sam Abraham were hoping a successful event with a large crowd would attract other promoters and concerts to the venue, perhaps several each year.

Bobby Rush, the 85-year-old blues legend, will still be the headliner on June 22. Also on the ticket will be Willie Clayton, Lenny Williams, Sir Charles Jones, Nathaniel Kimble, Tre Williams, LJ Echols, Poka Jones, Isaac Lindsey and the Village Band, Jay Morris Group and Big Yayo. Nellie Tiger Travis had a scheduling conflict with the new date and will be replaced in the lineup with Ms. Jody.

In preparation for Saturday, county workers have been working on the 100-acre park this week, fixing up the flower beds and bushes at the entry to the site, as well as in front of what used to be the museum building. The June date gives them more time to spruce things up.

Concert tickets are still being advertised online for $19.99 per person. General admission at the gate will be $29.99 with VIP tickets available for $49.99 that includes free parking, access to a special VIP area, and a free fish basket. For more information, call 866-901-5486.

Contact Gavin Maliska at 581-7235 or gmaliska@gwcommonwealth.com.

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