Bowlful of Blues music festival returns to Newton after hiatus in 2020

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NEWTON, Iowa — One of Jasper County’s loudest traditions returned to Maytag Park for Labor Day weekend.

The 28th Bowlful of Blues music festival attracted about a thousand people to Newton on Sunday. The event was held at the Maytag Bowl every year since 1993, but did not happen in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns.

The South Skunk Blues Society, which organizes the event, said it is proud to continue the tradition of blues music with its annual community concert.

“Blues music doesn’t get the airtime it should,” said Mike Pender of the South Skunk Blues Society. “These musicians work very hard at their craft. If we don’t do it for them, it will just go away, that’s the sad thing about it.”

The money raised during Bowlful of Blues will go toward the South Skunk Blues Society’s mission of music education in Jasper County.

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