On Saturday, July 9, the Historic Gilman Ranch hosted a Blues Festival to honor veterans.

The festival was held in the air-conditioned stagecoach museum at the ranch.

Jazz and blues singer Kaylee Daugherty and her accompanist Leon Bisquera, on piano, opened for the Beaumont Blues Band.

Over 100 people came to enjoy some blues and a little bit of jazz.

Chuck McCracken, singer and guitarist for the Beaumont Blues Band, was happy to be honoring local veterans.

“We’ll be playing some blues and some down-home tunes for the veterans today,” said McCracken. “Jackie Atwood and Anita Worthen, who are from our local VFW post 233, took this on, and it turned out quite nicely. We’re looking forward to performing for everyone, but most importantly, our vets.

“It’s going to be a great day.”

Former mayor of Banning Art Welch welcomed everyone to the blues festival.

Before the show started, Welch presented certificates of appreciation from Senator Rosalicie Ochoa-Bogh to the musicians and to the Gilman Ranch Hands for their contributions on recognizing the efforts of our veterans.

Welch came as a representative for Ochoa-Bogh.

“She [Ochoa-Bogh] cannot be any prouder of any group in this world than our veterans. She is 110 percent behind any effort that supports veterans,” Welsh said. “This kind of gathering is to say thanks to all the veterans.”

Anita Worthen, one the coordinators of the event, greeted guests as they arrived.

“We are very proud of our veterans,” said Worthen. “Their efforts should not go unnoticed. It is important to let our veterans know that they are appreciated.”

Darryl Kolange, a Marine from North Carolina stationed at Twenty-Nine Palms, came to the festival with some friends.

“I liked the harmonica player,” said Kolange. “He added a good sound to the music. The flow of the music was good. I’m glad that there are groups that honor veterans.”

Theodore Lea, an active member of the U.S. Navy, thought the festival was going to be a bluegrass concert.

“I thought this was going to be bluegrass,” said Lea. “I love the blues, so I’m glad we showed up. The vibe was comfortable and relaxed.”

Lea was happy to interact with other veterans.

“I got a chance to see and talk with older and active veterans. It was cool,” said Lea. “It’s important to thank the veterans of previous generations for what they have accomplished.”

The Knights of Columbus provided refreshments to all attendees at no charge.


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