All shades of blues will be featured under the trees this year, from New Orleans accordion to powerful Texas rock-blues guitar.
"There's lots and lots of different styles of blues, like there are lots of styles of country or rock," said Kyle VerSteeg, vice president of the Lizard Creek Blues Society. "We always feature bands with different playing styles. This year's lineup is really quite extraordinary."
The headliners this year are Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King.
Kubek is described as a "guitar slinger" from Irving, Texas, while King brings a smooth jazz style from Monroe, La.
"They're good hard-driving guitar based blues," said society President Bob Wood. "Bnois brings a little more subtlety to his guitar playing; they really complement each other very well."
The July 28 festival will open with Kevin Burt at 1 p.m., followed by the Bob Pace Band at 3 p.m., both from Iowa. Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys will play at 5 p.m., and Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin at 7 p.m., with Kubek and King taking the stage at 9 p.m.
Zydeco is a completely different style from New Orleans blues, VerSteeg said.
Wood said, "Zydeco has been long associated with the blues because of the Cajun roots. It's real neat change of pace for a concert, when you have multiple bands. They come in and do a real up-tempo fun show ... it really gets people dancing."
Bob Margolin is also a big name and has played with blues legend Muddy Waters, Margolin said.
"Casual blues listeners may not realize they've got a guy who's really been around and has played with all the greats. There's nobody he hasn't played with. I think true blues aficionados will know the name right away, and are really be happy he's going to be here."
One of the best things about the festival is "we always get really good food vendors," VerSteeg said.
"One we always get is Jesse James, and he's one of my personal favorites. He has Cajun-style food, like jambalaya, red beans and rice, shrimp and things like that."
There will also be barbecue and gyros for sale, as well as beverages.
Wood said there will be a drawing for a handmade guitar, created in Fort Dodge by Steve Gibson. There will also be Lizard Creek Blues merchandise for sale as well as CD and other items from each of the artists.
As far as seating goes, concertgoers bring their own chairs. VerSteeg said many people come to the festival with couches; a few couches will be provided.
"We try to get people to bring couches out, or donate a couch and bring them out," he said.
Wood explained the importance of the festival.
"Our motto has been we support the blues so you don't have to drive. People think living in Fort Dodge is so far away from cultural activities, concerts and that type of thing. We think this is a way to bring world-class musicians right here to Fort Dodge.
"Also blues music is something that needs support, as does live music. Blues is an American original. It's one of the things America can call its own."
VerSteeg said, "I'm a musician myself, and it's just a good charity be involved with. It helps keep an American art form alive. If it were Brittney Spears, you could sell it, but blues is a little different. It has to be nurtured and appreciated. That's one of the main reasons."