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Lake George to host Bands 'N Beans this weekend

LAKEGEORGE - The mother of all parties in the North Country - now passing a landmark in its history - may be more of a blockbuster than ever, its organizers said this week.

The Lake George Arts Project's 20th annual Bands 'N Beans party is set for 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday March 6 at Roaring Brook Ranch.

With area folks buried in snow all winter, people are eagerly awaiting the renewal of spirit that the Bands-N-Beans event traditionally provides, Arts Project chief John Strong said.

"Everybody's anticipating Spring, and they're really ready to get their 'ya-ya's' out this year," he said.

This year, the music is diverse as ever, with country-rock, rhythm and blues, folk-rock and bluegrass adding variety to the signature party-rock music offered.

Bands will be playing in two separate venues in Roaring Brook simultaneously. Annually the party features wall-to-wall people at the expansive facilities, most of them downing chili, voting for their favorite dish moving to the music, and greeting each other after a winter that always seems to have been far too long.

Amateur and professional cooks annually dream up creative chili recipes to tantalize the partygoers - and unusual ingredients often take the spotlight, whether its elk, venison, partridge or ostrich meat - or merely gourmet rare imported chilies.

Restaurants take the chili competition seriously, vying for bragging rights that will gain them renown. More than 40 restaurants and eateries have signed up for the event.

Bentley's Restaurant of Malta will be defending its 2010 title of Best Chili against some formidable new entries, including the Black Watch Steakhouse, Wholy Crepe, Bar Vino, West Side Grill, and more.

Musicians this year include Chris Ballini, Rich Ortiz, Tequila Mockingbirds, Folding Sky, Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys, the Stony Creek Band, Rat Tail Jimmy, Electric City Horns, and probably more.

The event includes a raffle and a silent auction featuring a variety of items from local businesses, including dinners, clothes and accommodations. Annually raising almost $18,000 for the Arts Project, the event is the non-profit group's largest fundraiser, Strong said.

"People just love getting out and seeing each other again after a long winter."

Admission is $20, and tickets are available at the door. For details, call 668-2616 or visit: www.lakegeorgearts.org

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