Rocky Fork Enterprise

Promote festival via social media, score free tickets, Superfan T-shirt

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Anyone who promotes Gahanna's Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival by tooting the event's horn via social media could win two wristbands for free admission and a limited-edition 2014 Superfan T-shirt.

The 16th annual festival, presented by the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be held at the Creekside Park & Plaza, 123 Mill St., on June 20-22.

Mary Szymkowiak, GCVB communications manager, said anyone who spreads the word by sharing #2014CBJF via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest is eligible.

"We've identified 10 #2014CBJF Superfans so far, and we have a total of 50 shirts to give out between now and June 22," she said. "We are picking random winners from fans that help us spread the word through social media, just by using the #2014CBJF hash tag."

She said response to the contest has been great thus far, and the visitors bureau is finding more and more fans who seem excited about the Creekside festival.

Kevin Williamson of Bucyrus said he has attended the festival for the past six years.

"The Canton festival is the same weekend a lot of times," he said. "I like the atmosphere better at Creekside. I love that whole area. I usually get a hotel room close to where the buses take you to the festival."

He said Creekside always has a lot of bands he has never heard of.

"It's like discovering new talent," he said. "I like the Friday and Saturday lineup. It draws a good crowd. I also love the food vendors. I discovered deep-fried veggies there."

He was chosen as one of the festival's "Superfans."

"I shared their Facebook post about the contest and did the hashtag thing," he said. "A reason I use Facebook is because I can connect with musician friends. I play in a classic rock band."

Szymkowiak said she enjoys finding fans who aren't from Gahanna.

"It's exciting to see people who are as excited about the event as we are -- and who feel ownership of it," she said.

The 2014 lineup builds on the history of blues and jazz that have been played over the previous 15 years and includes dozens of blues and jazz acts on its five stages: Electric Blues Stage, Jazz Stage, Creekside Community Stage, Acoustic Alley and Musical Discovery Zone.

An estimated 35,000 people are expected for the three-day festival that will feature more than 90 hours of live music and entertainment, cuisine, artisans from the region, amusement rides and family activities.

The Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, June 20; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 21; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 22.

Tickets are $5 for general admission. Children ages 12 and younger and members of the military with their immediate family will be admitted for free (ID required).

Free admission between noon and 1:30 p.m. Sunday is available for every person who donates at least one nonperishable food item to benefit Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

The festival is presented by the GCVB and is made possible with the support of sponsors and help from local volunteers. For more information, visit creeksidebluesandjazz.com.

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