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Shucks, it's still a great lake to us

BURLINGTON Lake Champlain became a Great Lake (with a capital G) on March 6, 1998, when then-President Bill Clinton signed Senate Bill 927 which contained a line making Lake Champlain the sixth Great Lake. But the Lakes Greatness was short-lived. Its Great Lake status was rescinded 18 days later after much controversy, including an Ohio lawmakers suggestion that it be re-named Lake Plain Sham. Lake Champlain remains great (with a small g), and its greatness was celebrated last summer during the first Lake Champlain Maritime Festival. Because of the original Festivals enormous success, another waterfront gala will take place this year on Aug. 15-17. Festival participants can enjoy New England cuisine, shipwreck tours, kayaking, canoeing and sailboat races, Dragon Boat demonstrations, maritime exhibits, theatrical performances, and kids activities. Great musicians will enhance the festivities. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals will perform at Waterfront Park on August 16 at 6:30 pm, and the Derek Trucks Band will entertain on the following night, August 17, at the same time and place. Born in Waitsfield singer and Hammond B-3 organist Grace Potter has been compared to, and lauded by, Bonnie Raitt. Earlier this year, the New York Times described Potters driving hard-rock sound as comfort music because of a sense of familiarity, of a time-honored ritual expertly and reverently re-enacted. Slide guitarist Derek Trucks music ranges from blues to classic R&B, from early rock & roll to classic jazz. He began playing guitar when he was nine and has been strongly influenced by John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, and Sun Ra. In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine named him one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, and, in early 2007, the magazine deemed him a New Guitar God. For further information about the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival, go to www.lcmfestival.com or call 802-482-3313. Tickets for the Grace Potter and Derek Trucks concerts may be obtained at Higher Ground, 1214 Williston Rd., South Burlington or www.highergroundmusic.com; 802-652-0777. Potter tickets are $30 advance, Trucks tickets $33 advance. A two-day pass is $50, and children 12 and under will be admitted for free. Thats grrrr-eat!

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