17th Annual Parkapalooza Music Festival Returns to Freeland

DStreet Music Foundation Showcases 8 Bands Sunday, August 21st

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, , Concert Reviews,   From Issue 933   By: Robert E Martin

04th August, 2022     0

There is little doubt  the past few years have been fraught with challenges for the DStreet Music Foundation, who for sixteen years now have sponsored their groundbreaking Parkapalooza Music Festival showcasing top-notch and multiple genres of musical talent throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region on the beach at Sanford State Park - all free to the public.

In addition to live music, this all-day family oriented festival featured everything from sand-castle contests to face-painting and rope-climbing, serving as a fitting swan-song to summer from an organization that for nearly 20-years now has dedicated its efforts to significant charity work and important arts programs throughout the region such as their Band Camp, music scholarship programs, and contributions to educational programs such as All Music Is Power.

When the Pandemic of 2020 hit, however, the group was hit with a double-whammy with the devastating loss of Sanford Lake due to the dam breach during the floods of 2020.  No longer having a beach or a lake to stage the festival on, last year DStreet pressed forward with their 16th Parkapalooza Festival, moving it to Midland’s Chippawassee Park at the Tridge. But as fate would have it, thunder and lightning storms forced cancellation of their ‘Sweet 16’ event mid-way through the festival.

Not to be deterred from their mission, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, the DStreet Music Foundation is now busily preparing for their 17th Annual Parkapalooza Festival, moving it to Freeland where it will happen on Sunday, August 21st from Noon to 8:00 PM at Hayes Park, 9200 Midland Road.  .

According to D-Street Board member and early festival co-founder Ed Kerns, the last time the group staged a festival in Freeland was back in 2019, and they are happy to be showcasing the event once again at Hayes Park. “We’ve always had a friend in the Freeland community and this year we’ll be staging a traditional Parkapalooza show featuring  eight bands, food trucks, kids games, raffles, and all the stuff you expect to find at a festival of this nature.  And the beauty is we have music for every taste. All the bands have volunteered their talent and will perform 45-minute sets, so we will have eight solid hours of musical entertainment.”

The entertainment line-up is impressive.  Kicking things off will be Cold Cut Trio, who according to Kerns offer the most eclectic variety of music around and perform everything from Lady Gaga to Frank Sinatra. Next on the bill will be festival favorites The RockShow, followed by Marsupial Creampie, Laurie & the Lefties,  a new band named Brother Hyde featuring former members from Falter, with Coleman Road, Tweed & Dixie and The Hipakritz closing out the festival.

According to Ed, the past 12-months have been a ‘building year’ for the DStreet Music Foundation. “We’re still working with different groups and organizations and just recently staged a pop-up festival in Sanford, to show appreciation for all the efforts the Sanford community put into making Parkapalooza such a tremendous success for 15 years.  We were pleased that this event was very well attended.”

“DStreet is also putting some different irons in the fire and looking at bringing a very gifted Singer/Songwriter named Steve Seskin to Midland in November at the Midland Library Auditorium,” notes Ed. “His songs hav been recorded by artists such as Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Wayon Jennings, and Tim McGraw, to name a few.  We’ve sponsored different singer/songwriter workshops throughout the year, but this one’s going to be a little different because we’re looking at bringing in some major talent.”

“Music is one of those things that offers something for everybody if they are willing to find it; and sometimes our concern is we give short thrift to original musicians,” reflects Ed. “There’s so much good original music in our region, so focusing on the singer-songwriter is an attempt to level that playing field a little bit and allow people to hear something they’ve never heard before. It’s not Brown Eyed Girl, but all those songs started out a a little baby song that nobody ever heard, which is something we’re focusing on as well.”

Kerns says that DStreet is also actively soliciting for new board members. “Some of us are getting a little long in the tooth, so we’re looking for some exciting new ideas to come out moving forward,” he explains. “This year’s Parkapalooza Freeland is focusing more on the music this year and not so much as the other rings in the circus, but with Sanford Lake gone it changed the whole nature of the festival.”

“We did have an exciting conversation with the Sanford Lake Improvement Board, who do the fireworks over Sanford Lake each year over the 4th of July, and are looking at possibly doing an entertainment festival back at the Lake Park as a kickoff to their fireworks next year, so we may be back there before the water is.  I live in the Sanford area and losing the lake has been a kick in the teeth for everyone in the Sanford area, as well as for the event itself.”

“But we are truly looking forward to returning to Hayes Park in Freeland,” concludes Ed. “The park is set up beautifully for music and has a whole lot of lush green space.”

The Band Line up is as follows:

Noon - Cold Cut Trio

1pm - The Rock Show

2pm - Marsupial Cream Pie

3pm - Brother Hyde

4pm - Laurie and the Lefties

5pm - Coleman Road

6pm - Tweed and Dixie

7pm - Hiparitz






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