Kurt Hintermeister has attended 28 of the 29 Mississippi Valley Blues Festivals, even the one held at the Davenport Municipal Airport in 1993 after it was forced out of a flooded downtown.

This year's festival had to move because of flooding, too, though it didn't have nearly as far to go. LeClaire Park, the usual venue, was still partially underwater Saturday after the swollen Mississippi River crested earlier in the week about 3 feet over flood stage. 

So Kenny Wayne Shepherd and numerous other blues artists jammed out a couple of blocks away on 2nd Street. And blues lovers still delighted in taking in the sweet sounds, even if they couldn't stretch their bare feet in the park's cool grass.

Hintermeister became a lover of the music when he was invited to his very first blues festival 28 years ago.

"Blues is the best music there is," the Davenport man said.

He's chased the festival around the Quad-Cities in the years since: twice in Moline, the one time at the airport and once in the parking lot at what was then John O'Donnell Stadium, now Modern Woodmen Park.

Most years, however, LeClaire Park has hosted the festival.

"There's no comparison," Hintermeister said. "It's along the river. It's on the grass. There's more room to spread out."

Second Street isn't a place to go barefoot, he added.

But it isn't a bad venue by any means, his sister-in-law said.

"I thought I wasn't going to like it here on the street, but I do," Jann Hintermeister, of Davenport, said. "It's a good location for it downtown."

It proved a successful location, too, and the weather had a lot to do with that.

Last year, even though the festival was in LeClaire Park, storms and extreme heat kept people away.

This year, the weather Thursday through Saturday was just about perfect, and attendance was up, festival chairwoman Julie Reyes said.

"The numbers are up from last year," she added. "It's not raining. It's also not 100-degree weather. That helps."

Saturday's high got to 86 degrees, making it the warmest day of the week.

Next year the festival will return to LeClaire Park, weather permitting, Reyes said.

"It's not a bad crowd," vendor Brian Zorns of Breaux Bridge, La., said. "It's better than last year. It was hot last year."

Zorns has brought his Rajun Cajun Cookun to the Blues Festival for 13 years.

"The people like to buy good food," he said of his offerings. "Here, try the jambalaya. A lot of people care for that 'cause they don't get it anywhere else."

Shelle Barnett of Osco, Ill., who sells lemonade and tenderloin sandwiches, prefers the park, but she found herself busier on 2nd Street.

"It's summertime," she said. "It's a good time, good food and good people."

One particular act brought Scott and Becky Person of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to the Blues Festival.

"Kenny Wayne Shepherd," Becky Person yelled with her arms in the air, referring to Saturday night's headliner.

Her husband said she turns into a 16-year-old and drags him to see the young talent from Shreveport, La. They've been to 20 of his concerts, even traveling to Memphis just to see him perform.

"If you like Stevie Ray Vaughan, you'll love Kenny Wayne Shepherd," Becky Person said.

Her husband reminded her that Shepherd is married to one of Mel Gibson's daughters. She replied that she doesn't care.

"We're just fans," her husband said.