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Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden to celebrate 15th year of blues concert series

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is celebrating 15 years of Botanical Blues, an annual concert series that begins Jan. 24 and continues through March. 

The series will feature Midwestern blues and blues-influenced performing under the garden’s landmark dome, with food and drinks available from the Trellis Café. 

“It’s been a great privilege to be a part of it,” said Frank Strong, who’s been producing the series for the garden since it began. 

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Strong, a native of Council Bluffs, proposed the idea of a blues concert series at the then Botanical Center after he and his wife visited the River Music Experience venue in Davenport,  a nonprofit that features Mississippi River-influenced music, including — of course — the blues. 

Strong said that the first few shows at the garden were a success, and thus the Botanical Blues garden concert series became a tradition. 

Strong acknowledged he’s astonished that the series will be able to continue this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he said he feels assured it will run smoothly thanks to the safety guidelines implemented. 

“I’ve always loved the blues ever since I became acquainted with it when I was a youngster,” said Strong, who is also a musician. Strong plays guitar and harmonica, performing on Saturdays at la mie Bakery on 42nd Street, and is well-versed about the blues artists in the Des Moines music community. 

Tickets to the Botanical Blues concert series are $10 and must be purchased in advance either online at dmbotanicalgarden.com/events/botanical-blues or by calling 515-323-6290. There are two time slots for each Sunday: 12:30 p.m. or 2:45 p.m. 

Admission for gardens members are free. Free passes and the Pineapple Program tokens will not be honored for Botanical Blues events. 

Food orders will be delivered to guests’ seats. Face masks are required when not drinking or eating for everyone over age 2. 

Other safety guidelines include: 

  • Groups should not exceed four people 
  • Six feet of distance must be maintained from people not in your group
  • High-touch surfaces through the garden will be cleaned and sanitized throughout the day, including the restrooms 
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive in the last 14 days, or have come in contact with someone who has tested positive or shown signs of COVID-19, please stay home

2021 Botanical Blues concert lineup 

Sierra Porter covers entertainment for the Des Moines Register. She can be contacted at [email protected] or via Twitter @SierraAPorter95

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden to celebrate 15th year of blues concert series

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