Allentown, Pa


According to a news release today, the City of Allentown is cancelling the 2020 Allentown Blues Brews & Barbecue, presented by the City of Allentown and the Allentown Chamber of Commerce.  It is an annual Blues festival held in Downtown Allentown in June with crowds of more than 25,000 spectators.


According to the release from the City today, with concern for the public health and safety and in light of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s decision to extend a stay at home order through June 4 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Allentown and the Allentown Chamber of Commerce are cancelling the 2020 Blues, Brews & Barbecue festival scheduled for June 13.


Since its 2008 inception, Blues Brews & Barbecue, presented by the City of Allentown and the Allentown Chamber of Commerce, has featured live Blues music, delicious food and a variety of activities providing fun for the whole family.




Allentown’s Blues festival has grown to consume four city blocks with six stages of music and estimated crowds of more than 25,000 spectators. This year, there were plans to expand the footprint to include the ArtsWalk and the recently built Hamilton Connector.



2019 Blues, Brews & Barbecue in Downtown Allentown Photography by LoriLee, WGOLV



“Our Blues Fest is a special event that brings together thousands of Blues and barbecue lovers from all around the country to celebrate in the heart of downtown Allentown,” said Chamber Sr. Vice President of Allentown Initiatives, Miriam Huertas. “This is the first time in thirteen years that the June event will not take place and we are saddened to share this news. But, we’re already working to bring our main headliners and other talented musicians back for 2021. And, of course, we will continue to work hard to bring you the downtown events that you have come to love!”



2019 Headliner for Blues, Brews & Barbecue Photo by LoriLee, WGOLV



Mayor Ray O’Connell said, “Blues Brews & Barbecue is a wonderful event and serves as one of our entries to a great summer of fun. We all look forward to the day when social distancing is a relic of the past, but in the meantime, we want to follow the recommendations of the medical professionals and keep everyone safe – and we look forward to hosting you safely in 2021.”



“We’re disappointed in the cancellation, but the safety of Allentown’s citizens remains our top priority throughout this unprecedented time. We take the health and safety of our guests, staff and community very seriously and we urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials,” said Leonard Lightner, director of the city’s department of Community and Economic Development.



Governor Wolf first issued a stay at home order covering Lehigh County on March 25.  Last night, the governor extended that order through June 4.