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Oakland’s ‘Barbeque,’ Beer and Bluesfest

Mike Dinoffria, Special to the Daily Planet
Friday June 14, 2002

In an ideal place you could eat Everett and Jones Barbecue, throw back a couple of cold ones, listen to live blues and enjoy sunshine all at the same time, any time. Unfortunately, that’s not an everyday kind of thing, but it will happen this Saturday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. in Jack London Square. 

The 5th Annual Blues Alley Barbeque, Beer and Bluesfest is the brainchild of Dorothy King of Everett and Jones, D'Wayne Wiggins of Grass Roots Entertainment and Thomas Parker of Brother’s Brewing Company.  

Five years ago, they saw the occasion of Juneteenth (an unofficial holiday commemorating the emancipation of slaves in the United States) as the perfect opportunity to highlight the contributions made by African Americans to the culture of Oakland. All three companies are African-American-owned and Oakland originals. 

Berkeley locals might be familiar with Everett and Jones Barbecue on San Pablo if not from another East Bay location. They have been serving smokehouse-style barbecue in the East Bay since 1973. Brother's Brewing company is another Oakland-based company — the only African-American owned brewing company in North America.  

The four-block festival will feature singer/songwriter, Bobby Womack, Little Milton, Barbara Dane and Jess James among other performers.  

The Barbeque, Beer and Bluesfest averages about 3,000 people each year from Oakland, Berkeley and various other Bay Area cities.  

King anticipates twice that number this year. He says the event will be a “good family outing, but also supports a good cause.”  

Proceeds from the event will go to support the LoveLife Foundation. The LoveLife Foundation was founded in November of 1997 by Donald Lacy in memory of his daughter, LoEshe Adanma Lacy, who was senselessly murdered in a drive-by shooting at her high school. The LoveLife foundation aims to help youth discover positive and life-affirming alternatives to the destructive influences of drugs, gangs and the dangers of life on the streets.  

For the fifth consecutive year, the Blues Alley Barbeque, Beer and Bluesfest promises to be a great time in the sun, and a great way to support the local community.