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River's Edge Trail Blues & Brews fundraising party celebrates 14 years

Blues & Brews is a fundraiser for the River’s Edge Trail in Great Falls, Montana. In the last 13 years the event has raised over $300,000 for the trail.

Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
Outdoor Recreation Grants Program:

poster graphic

The 2008 poster for the River’s Edge Trail Blues & Brews party (Click to enlarge)


Considered as Great Falls' best party the 14th Annual Blues & Brews fund raiser for the River's Edge Trail will feature great food, a selection of micro brew and domestic beers and the best regional and national blues artist we can find.

The event provides funds to improve, extend, and maintain the 30 mile long River's Edge Trail. Proceeds are used to match with federal and state grants to design and construct new segments of the trail and for special projects that improve the existing trail. Proceeds in 2006, for example, were used to match a Community Transportation Enhancement Program grant to construct the trail upstream from West Bank Park, including underpasses of the Weissman Trail Bridge and 1st Ave. N. Bridge and about 600 feet of elevated concrete boardwalk east of Holman Interiors.

Over 20 micro brews and a selection of domestic beers are available inside and in the outside beer garden in Margaret Park, just north of the Mansfield Convention Center. The beer garden features a high quality audio visual feed from the stage to those partying outside.

A food court will feature offerings from Trail volunteers and 3 top Great Falls Restaurants. Menu items include shrimp cocktail, cajun chicken, egg rolls, gorgonzola pasta, bacon, tomatoe and avocado wrap, jambalaya, chopped pork sandwich, Peruvian shrimp chowder, chicken sausage gumbo. Deserts include carrot cake, huckleberry cheesecake and triple chocolate brownies. Wine, juices, soft drinks and bottled waters are also available.

A national headliner and a regional blues band are featured each year. Recent headliners include Tab Benoit, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, Roy Rogers and Phillip Aaberg, Anson Funderburg and the Rockets, and Elvin Bishop.

Known for its high energy blues music, the event features a large dance area in front of the stage that is well used by the crowd all night. The event runs from 5:30pm until midnight. Trail T-shirts, event glasses and products are available as are CD's of the blues bands featured.

2006 event details

Not one but two national touring blues legends will take the stage in the Civic Center Convention Center. Jimmy Thackery and his blues rock power trio The Drivers will kick off the evening inside. Since 1992 Thackery has recorded 15 albums and is expected to plays songs from his recently released "Healin' Ground" CD. Wrapping up the evening will be explosive guitarist Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Louisiana jazz guitarist and singer Bnois King. Since 1989 Kubek and King have released 7 albums. Reports from those who have been to live shows of these artists say it is going to be a fantastic evening.

Enhanced outdoor amenities in the once-a-year Beer Garden include a covered stage at the north edge of the Margaret Park. Hitting that stage at 5:30 p.m. and playing until the headliners kick off inside, will be Hound Dog’s Rockin’ Blues Band. When Hound Dog’s set is over a giant screen behind the stage will feed live video from the inside for the rest of the evening for those who want to party outside. The outdoor sound system will also be upgraded from last year. The indoor video presentation will also be upgraded.

Food at the 2006 Blues & Brews is going to be outstanding. The inside food lines at the Concessions area will be gone. Instead, and exciting array of delicious food from 3D International, the Breaks and the Bear Grass Grille will be available in tents along the west side of Margaret Park. Menu items include peel and eat shrimp, chicken jambalaya, firecracker egg rolls, turkey gumbo, andouille po’ boy sandwiches, teriyaki skewers, beer baron sausages and 6 different kinds of sushi and sashimi. Desserts include carrot cake, chocolate cake, triple chocolate brownies and more.

As usual a wide variety of ice-cold micro-brew and domestic beers will be available both inside and outside from 5:30 to midnight. Non alcoholic beverages will also be available inside and out. Event glasses will be available at the inside and outside food/beer ticket booths and inside at the "Cool Stuff" booth at the Concessions area. CD’s by the headliners, t-trail T-shirts, strobe-in-the-dark sunglasses and non-alcoholic beverages will also be available at "Cool Stuff."

Corporate Sponsors are The Davidson Companies and Heritage Bank. Other major sponsors are Gusto Distributing, Devine Bros. Distributing and Advanced Litho Printing.

For more information:

River's Edge Trail website at or call (406) 788-6197.

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