EL DORADO HILLS – The sun was shining bright on what quickly became the warmest day of the year as the beer and wine was pouring and the toes were tapping in El Dorado Hills Saturday afternoon for the inaugural Heart of the Hills Blues Blast presented by the El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce. When the all afternoon first year event came to a close, it was deemed a success by organizers. 

“We are thrilled with the reception of our new inaugural event Heart of the Hills – Blues Blast,” said Debbie Manning, CEO of the El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce, who was impressed with the tourism the event drew to the area. “Our goal was to produce something different, something missing in our Region.  We did it, a sold-out event with 57% of the guests attending who lived outside of El Dorado County.”


The event was dedicated to a true American music artform, better known as the Blues, at the beautiful outdoor grounds at Overland District, just above Regal Cinemas at the El Dorado Hills Town Center. The one day festival featured national blues touring artists that truly lived up to the promise previously made by Mary Carrera of the El Dorado Hills Chamber when she said the line-up would “blow the socks off,” those who attended. 

On Saturday, there weren’t a lot of socks being worn amongst the sold out crowd that packed the lawn area in front of the stage. Most were enjoying the warm weather in beach style attire, wearing shorts, sandals or flip flops and sporting various forms of shade from the warm afternoon sun. It didn’t matter what was on their feet or what got kicked off, it seemed every toe in the place was tapping or dancing all afternoon long.


The festival began with the artistry of Tom Rigney & Flambeau for the first set of the day. Rigney quickly had his fans on their feet as he performed his always energetic show. Rigney was followed by Chris Cain by mid-afternoon. The show wrapped up with the great Tommy Castro & The Painkillers closing down the stage. 

Tickets went on sale months prior to the event once the El Dorado Hills Chamber had secured the venue and artists. Within a month of sales opening, the chamber sold out of all VIP ticket packages. From there, general admission tickets continued to sell swiftly. It was nearly two-weeks before the event that all 1,100 tickets available for the event had been swooped up, something any event organizer loves to see, especially when it’s a first time event in a time where the region has had some unpredictable weather on and off, not to mention the challenges of the current economy that are cutting into people’s budgets. It seems local live entertainment remains high on the list of budget items still. 


Tickets beer sales were served by Boring Rose Brewery of El Dorado Hills and Crystal Basin Cellars of Camino and Folsom. A number of wineries offered tastings throughout the day as well, pouring from the sites of the many businesses, vendors and sponsor booths that surrounded the green facing the stage. The venue and the arrangement made for a perfect experience when it came to enjoying the entertainment as well as patronizing the many vendors that set up for the day with the help of a large volunteer force that came out to lend a hand for the chamber in this large undertaking. 


Both Manning and Carerra were impressed with the demographics of ticket holders for the event. As Manning tallied the total to be 57% being from outside the El Dorado Hills area that figure included guests from as far away as Pennyslvania as well as Arizona, Idaho and Washington. Nearly two dozen guests traveled to the event from Contra Costa County, 19 guests were from the the areas of Reno, Sparks Nevada and Washoe City.  Sacramento County made up 20% of all ticket sales and Placer County residents added up to 11%. The variety in numbers from outside of El Dorado Hills and the local region is ideal for tourism growth for El Dorado Hills.

Once all of the bills are tallied and paid, proceeds from the event will benefit the many programs of the El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce. 

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan has over 25 years of professional journalism and content creation experience in which he has earned 37 professional awards. He is the co-founder/publisher of Folsom Times an All Town Media LLC product.