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Big changes in store for Hoop City Jazz Fest

Date: 5/4/2009

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD - A Springfield summer tradition is making a move its organizer believes will attract even more people.

John Osborne, the founder of the Hoop City Jazz and Art Festival, has said the third weekend of music and arts will be presented at the grounds of Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) on July 4 and 5.

The festival had been at Riverfront Park, and Osborne told Reminder Publications the move to STCC would mean easier parking and access for the festival's audience.

Coolers will also be allowed for the first time at the festival, allowing families to bring a picnic. Osborne is hoping that families make the festival their site for summer reunions as well.

Having the festival at this location would also mean audience members on July 4 will get a clear view of the city's Fourth of July fireworks from the rear of the Armory Museum.

"Springfield is indeed very lucky this year," Osborne said. "There will be two fireworks displays -- one downtown and the other, a musical one, on the campus of STCC."

Although the musical acts performing at the show have not yet been announced, Osborne said the artists playing on July 4 would feature contemporary jazz while the music on Sunday will be traditional jazz. As in past years, Osborne will be featuring national acts as well as local performers.

On July 4, the gates will open at 11 a.m.; the music will begin at 1 p.m. and will end at 8:30 p.m. in time for the fireworks. On July 5, the gates open at 11 a.m. with music being performed from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Part of the festival will include an artist and crafters bazaar and Osborne is currently looking for vendors.

There will be a food court area, beer and wine concessions, children's activities and free food for children under the age of 12, courtesy of the Buffalo Soldiers & Troopers Motorcycle Club.

Parking and admission are both free of charge.

For more information, contact Osborne at or log onto

Osborne added he hopes people "will come early, stay late and leave exhausted."