With plenty of rock and country music to go around in the Dells area, local bar owner Mark Szymanski wanted to offer something unique so he started Blues Fest in 2009.

Come Friday and Saturday nights at 6 p.m. guests can show up for a chicken and barbecued ribs dinner, complete with rice and beans all served with a touch of the South at Mark’s Restaurant and Bar. By 7 p.m. live music starts.

Friday night guests will be entertained by blues artists Karri Daley of Madison, Bobby Bryan and Mark LaMere. LaMere is a Wisconsin Dells musician who hosts a period for improvisational music on Thursdays at the bar.

On Saturday night the line up includes the Mike Wheeler Band, a newcomer to the festival, and Richie Rich & The Chi-Town Blues Band from Chicago.

Szymanski said he always holds the Blues Fest the last weekend in January.

He plans for 85 people to attend each night.

“Tickets go very fast. That’s for sure,” he said.

Reservations can be made by calling the Country Squire, the motel Szymanski and his wife, Stella Szymanski, own adjacent to the bar. For reservations call 253-3919 or 963-1610.

Szymanski plans for Blues Fest to continue every January on the last weekend of the month.

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