Die hard jazz fans ignored gray skies Saturday to hear the blues. The 15th annual Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues and Jazz Festival kicked off this weekend. Gray skies and light rain didn't keep Micki Jay from the festival. “The music for me is very spiritual. I love it,” said Jay. “For true blues and jazz lovers we're coming despite rain. There's no frost in the air. it's not cold, it's really quite nice.” Fourteen year olds Stephanie Beckett and Jessica Meyer are not jazz fans like Jay, but they liked other parts of the festival. “There's food, there's music, there's plenty of booths, and there's free stuff.” Newschannel 3's Steve Rondinaro and Meghan Packer reigned over the event while it rained. Meanwhile, Maurice Diggs sits patiently at his booth for customers. “Oh man, I was expecting 10,000 people down here, but looks like they knocked a few zero's off. I would say 30% for the economy, 70% for the weather today,” Diggs said. Understandably, the stiff economy could cause music lovers to scale back on entertainment spending, but not these die-hard jazz and blues fans. Many spent $30 for a ticket. Ronnie Brooks of Fayetteville said, “When times are hard, sometimes you got to have a good time.” “You got to have fun, yeah, and eating seafood and dancing in the rain is pretty fun,” said Bill Hartnett and Jessica Craig. Micki Jay added, “I don't want to think about that tonight. I want to enjoy myself and I hope everybody else does. We're going to hear some good sounds and come on out.” The weather was much nicer on Sunday; the final day of the event.
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