LELAND — After a one-year hiatus caused by the flooding of 2011, the 13th annual Highway 61 Blues festival is looking to come back bigger and better than ever. More than 19 blues artists from around the Delta will perform at the festival’s new location at the Buster Morlino Community Center and Park, 4168 Old Highway 61. It will be the first year the festival won’t be held downtown after Billy Johnson, Director of the Leland Blues Project, decided to move the event to the community center after the success of this past spring’s Crawfish Festival, which was also held there.
The three-day festival will start on Friday with two book signings in downtown Leland. Veteran musician Lamar Thomas will be signing copies of his new book, “Da Delta Black Music & Me” at Hobnob’s on Third Street from 4-6 p.m. Meanwhile, Belgian blues musicians, brothers Marc and Luc Borms, will be signing copies of their new book, “Catfish & Cotton,” at the Highway 61 Blues Museum on Broad Street.