Fab Four fest to invade Hammond

2013-08-08T23:35:00Z 2014-08-03T22:31:08Z Fab Four fest to invade HammondEloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

There'll be a celebration of John, Paul, George and Ringo when Beatles Fest 2013 descends on downtown Hammond Saturday.

"This is our eighth year doing Beatles Fest," said John Vezmar, co-founder of the fest with his brother Paul. Vezmar is also the owner of The Blue Room Cafe in Hammond.

Vezmar said the first fest, a much smaller event, took place at the cafe and the outdoor event has grown rapidly over time.

"Last year we had a record year," Vezmar said, adding more than 2,000 people attended Beatles Fest in 2012.

Visitors to the fest will find everything from merchandise tents and live entertainment to food vendors, a beer garden, projection of Beatles films on downtown Hammond's historic buildings and more.

The idea for the Hammond Beatles celebration grew from the Vezmar brothers' enjoyment  of live music and a love of all things Beatles.

"When my brother and I decided to open the cafe, we wanted to have a lot of live music," he said. And they dedicated a night to Beatles music. Vezmar said his parents were huge Beatles fans, and they grew up listening to the iconic tunes.

This year's fest will feature seven bands in the entertainment spotlight. "Our lineup is bigger and more dynamic than ever," Vezmar said. The headlining group will be Beatolution, a band formerly known as Stockwood, who were considered the youngest Beatles tribute band in 2007. Among other bands on the performance roster will be Nomad Planets and Rising Dawn.

Vezmar said the food tent will be operated by Indy Cafe out of East Chicago. A variety of brews will be available in the fest's beer garden including some from Flossmoor Station and Calumet Brewing.

The all-ages event definitely includes something for everyone and Vezmar said kids won't be left out.

A fab magical mystery-type activity catering to the younger set will be the Children's Magic Show. Vezmar said face-painting opportunities will also be available on fest grounds.

Beatles fans never tire of indulging in all things Fab Four, and Vezmar envisions a good future for the fest.

"As kids, my brother and I were (introduced) by our parents to the music of the Beatles and how cool and how great it was," Vezmar said, adding many people pass on their love of the famous Liverpudlians to other generations.

"I really don't see that pattern ending," he said. "The music of the Beatles is timeless."

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