For the past decade one sure sign that Indian Summer is rapidly approaching is the annual Parkapalooza Festival held at Sanford Lake Park, which allows fans, supporters, and patrons to bask in the sun and soak up top-notch musical nourishment on a half-mile of lakefront with 1000 feet of soft sandy beach.
Presented by the D Street Entertainment Foundation, which since the inception of the festival has donated well over $10,000 to various local charities; the principle focus of the organization is centered upon two major programs: The Band Wagon, which takes donated used musical instruments and refurbishes them to allow economically challenged families with talented children to further their musical explorations; and the D Street Musical Scholarship program, which allows talented and musically engaged children to further their education in either college or trade school endeavors.
For 2015 the 11th Annual Parkapalooza Music Festival will take place on Sunday, September 13th and run from Noon to 8:00 PM and once again features an exceptional concoction of live music, kid’s activities, a sand sculpting contest, and a huge silent auction, all converging in a swan-song to summer that shines a bright beaming light on talent and civic mindedness in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
Thanks to the early endeavors of organizers such as Ed Kerns, David Dauer and Dennis Beson, Parkapalooza has evolved into the premier end-of-summer celebration throughout the region; and with the recent departure of Beson, whom recently accepted a job as the President & CEO of the Junction City Area Chamber of Commerce in Junction City, Kansas; recently the Review sat down with new interim President Amanda Christian to discuss both the phenomenon that is Parkapalooza, along with what patrons can expect at this year’s celebration.
Review: Seeing as this marks the 11th Anniversary year of Parkapalooza can you tell me any things that you might be doing differently this year, along with what qualities you feel this event has managed to sustain and expand upon over the years?
Christian: This year we are giving a wide variety of activities, contests, food vendors, and as always fun to patrons. People should make sure to enter the sandcastle building contest sponsored by Chemical Bank, visit the build a craft tent brought to you by Home Depot, take your chances of winning big in the silent auction tent, or take a climb on the rock wall supported by The Rock Youth Center. People can also support our cause by purchasing a concert T-shirt; and we may even conduct a contest and prize to the person who wears the oldest Parkapalooza shirt. There is no doubt there is something for everyone, not to mention the amazing eight bands performing on the beach!
Review: What do you feel distinguishes Parkapalooza from other festivals that happen throughout the area?
Christian: One of the major characteristics that separate Parkapolooza from other musical events in the area is the strong reputation we have built to keep this event family friendly. We are a non-profit organization focused on the positive impact music can make in a community. We are committed to serve our community by banding together for the good of all.
Review: How did you decide upon the performing line-up this year and what do you enjoy about each of the featured musical acts?
Christian: Each year choosing the band line up becomes increasingly difficult. In the last few years we have been overwhelmingly surprised at the number of bands contacting us to be part of the event. This year alone we had over 20 bands requesting to be chosen. The support of the bands is truly amazing because they volunteer their time to spend the entire day with us. The band selection process begins early in the year. We are looking for bands that have a wide appeal, family friendly, and are true professionals. This year whittling 20 bands down to 8 was probably one of the toughest decisions we had to make. All of the bands chosen have a variety of styles and a tremendous amount of talent. D Street is extremely proud to be able to showcase our local musicians in an event that will show attendance of over 5,000 people.
Review: What do you feel is the most challenging component involved with the production of Parkapalooza?
Christian: The most challenging part of this event is educating the community of the true meaning behind D Street and Parkapolooza. This event is our largest fundraiser of the year. Yes, we know it is one fantastic beach party, but the true meaning behind this event is to raise money to support our Scholarship and Bandwagon programs. D street is dedicated to assisting youth in our community. The Bandwagon program supplies instruments to students who may not be able to otherwise afford the high costs of an instrument. The Scholarship program assists youth attend a fine arts camp, skilled trade school, or first year college education. Students must be musically focused, complete on online application and provide an essay.
If anybody is interested in learning more please go to our website at dstreet.org or email us as firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always looking for volunteers and musical donations.
Band-Line-Up & Schedule for 2015 Parkapalooza
Noon • The Beets Band
1:00 PM • Civil Infraction
2:00 PM • Tweed & Dixie
3:00 PM • Sins in Stereo
4:00 PM • The Sinclairs
5:00 PM • Moonshine Mavericks
6:00 PM • Sound Advice
7:00 PM • Burnaround