2nd Annual PARKAPALOOZA Freeland Kicks Off Summer Festival Season Sunday • June 2nd

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Artist Feature,   From Issue 879   By: Robert E Martin

13th May, 2019     0

The award-winning and ambitious fundraising and musical extravaganza known as Parkapalooza has become a legendary showcase for featuring a broad range of regional musical talent fostering engagement for the entire family, while also benefitting the greater Mid-Michigan region with numerous musical scholarship and special needs program.

Presented by the D-Street Music Foundation, since staging their first festival back in 2006 on the beach at Sanford State Park, Parkapalooza has occupied a unique niche in the region, delivering not only a varied array of top-notch musical artistry, packaged with activities to engage the entire family, while also raising money to cultivate up-and-coming musicians that may not possess the economic resources to advance their talents. 

Now with their 2nd Annual Parkapalooza Freeland festival, D-Street has managed to bookend the summer months with two major musical events featuring the finest entertainment the Great Lakes Bay has to offer.  Held at Tittabawassee Township Park in Freeland, this year’s festival will be happening on Sunday, June 2nd, from Noon to 8:00 PM.   Featuring Free Admission & Free Parking, this year’s festival will also offer Food Trucks, Human Bubble Balls, Free Kids’ Activities, Lions Club Beer Sales, a Bounce House, and Make & Take Wood Crafts.

Featuring 8 Live Bands the performance line-up consists of The Wedding Singers (Major Chords for Minors Band); Marsupial Creampie, The Music Doctors, Michele Spitz & the Straight 8’s performing their Tribute to Linda Ronstadt; Peacemaker, Tweed & Dixie and The Rock Show.

When asked about the response to last year’s debut festival, according to D-Street President Georgie Poprave, “This event kicks off the summer with rockin' music and fun for the whole family!  Our inaugural year brought nearly 2000 people to Tittabawassee Park to enjoy local music, children's activities, food, and more.  Even though the day began with clouds overhead, the sun came out and the music continued to play. The residents of Freeland were exceptionally welcoming last year; and we look forward to providing an event that is equally as welcoming.” 

“​Tittabawassee Township Park is the perfect location for this event,” she continues.  “Nestled in the middle of the Great Lakes Bay Region, it's central to all those that enjoy local music and a free, family-fun event.  We look forward to providing an event this community can be proud of.”

As for this year’s band and performance line-up, Georgie says this year’s bands were hand-picked by D-Street’s volunteer board “We have the privilege of showcasing a new, young group of musicians, who are also a part of the Major Chords for Minors program based in Saginaw, called The Wedding Singers, which we are particularly excited about, seeing as developing and showcasing young up-and-coming musicians is a huge part of D-Streets mission.”

“We take the responsibility of choosing our band line-up very seriously and believe we have hit it out of the park again this year,” continues Georgie.  “We look for great bands who are not only great musicians, but exceptional entertainers who represent a variety of musical genres.  We strive to find bands that are appropriate for all audiences, young and old.  We are extremely appreciative of these musicians who volunteer their talents to support the mission of D Street.   Each band will play for approximately 45 minutes, allowing time to get the next band on stage and ready to rock.”

“Once again this year, we will have a variety of FREE activities for children and families.  The Home Depot  will be at the event providing a hands-on wood craft activity for all ages,  Tri-City Bubble will be bringing their bubble ball suits for some physical fun, and we will also have bounce houses, provided by the good folks at High Country Jumpers.   We will also have BBQ, pizza, cotton candy, kettle corn, ice cream, and beer (provided by the Lions Club) for sale at the event.”

As for some of the goals D-Street hopes to achieve with the festival, along with goals for the upcoming year, Georgie says D-Street has a 3-legged mission.  “First, we seek to provide low or no-cost music to the community; secondly, we strive to provide scholarships to music-minded students; and third, we actively take in used instruments, refurbish them, and lend them out to those interested in learning to play an instrument free of charge through our Bandwagon Program.”

“Parkapalooza Freeland allows us to do all three: share local music with the community, present a scholarship winner with a $1000 check, and get the word out about our Bandwagon Program.  We are always in search of both used instruments and those in need of instruments. By next year we are hoping to lend out the majority of our Bandwagon Inventory, so whomever wants to learn to play an instrument can do so without the financial burden of purchasing or renting one.”

“For those interested in applying for one of our three $1000 scholarships, or have or are in need of an instrument, please check out our website at www.dstreet.org,” she concludes.

Former D-Street President and board member Ed Kerns also notes the significance of building the festival as a family-oriented event.  “Unlike some of the other great shows in our area, we are intentionally mainstream. We want you to bring the kids. As the song goes: ‘Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies’…there is excellent music for every taste and activities for everyone. We’re sort of the ‘Variety Band’ of festivals; but I hope, a really good Variety band.”

“Even though the June Festival is upon us, we are actively working on the Sanford Palooza coming up in September and are seeking sponsors for that show. We always need volunteers, sponsors, supporters and just people who appreciate what we do and are willing to spread the word.”

 

 

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