Sounds from the Beach • The 15th Annual Sanford Parkapalooza

Award Winning Regional Music Festival Features Top-Notch Talent, Family Activities & Cultural Reinvestment in the Region

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Local Music,   From Issue 884   By: Robert E Martin

29th August, 2019     0

The 15th Annual Sanford Lake Parkapalooza Festival is without doubt a musical swansong to Summer and one of the Great Lakes Bay Region’s most celebrated gatherings - a perfect trinity of sand, water & music - that allows fans, friends, and families an opportunity to bask in the sun and soak up a bountiful array of activities and top-notch musical nourishment, all staged on a half-mile of lakefront with 1000 feet of soft sandy beach.

Happening this year on Sunday, September 8th  from Noon to 8:00 PM at Midland County’s Sanford Lake Park, 415 Irish Street, park admission is only $6.00 per car for parking, which goes to the Midland County Parks, while the concert and most activities are free. 

Presented by the DStreet Music Foundation, 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  DStreet Musical Scholarship program, which allows talented and musically engaged children to further their education in either college or trade school endeavors.

Parkapalooza has hosted an estimated 34,000 visitors, showcased over 60 great musical acts and donated over tens of thousands of dollars to a number of worthwhile charities.  According to DStreet President Georgie Poprave,  “Through our Parkapalooza festivals, we have raised enough money to consistently provide $3000 in scholarship money each year to music-minded individuals attending college or fine-arts academies. We've also been able to provide $500 per year in mini-grants to local music programs, as well as support the AMP (All Music is Power) program with a $3000 contribution.  Money raised at our events also supports our Bandwagon Program where we purchase band instruments, or refurbish donated instruments, and then lend (free of charge) to economically challenged children who wish to learn the beauty of playing a musical instrument.”

“The bands we have lined up for our 15th Annual Sanford Parkapalooza are some of the most incredible talent in the area!,” enthuses Georgie.   “As always, our volunteer board looks for great bands who are not only amazing musicians, but exceptional entertainers who represent a wide variety of musical genres.  We believe we have captured this in our line-up this year.” 

This year’s lineup and times consist of the following:

12:00 PM • KoneBra Kai

1:00 PM • Sensory Overload

2:00 PM • The Conspiracy

3:00 PM • Peacemaker

4:00 PM • Tweed & Dixie

5:00 PM • Marsupial Creampie

6:00 PM • The Todd Michael Band

7:00 PM • Burnaround

“We strive to find bands that are appropriate for all audiences, young and old,’ she continues.   “We are extremely appreciative of these musicians who volunteer their talents to support the mission of Dstreet. Each band will play for approximately 45 minutes, allowing time to get the next band on stage and ready to rock.  Along with the rockin' music we will also have several delicious food vendors on site to enjoy from BBQ to pizza, to hot dogs and ice cream!  The entire family can enjoy make and take wood crafts, bounce houses, human bubble suits, sand-sculpting contest, a photo booth, and a corn hole tournament.  Our chief sponsor, Garber Chevrolet, will be at the park to give away t-shirts and other prizes. You may even see a few t-shirts fly through the air with the debut of our NEW t-shirt launcher!  It's guaranteed to be a day full of entertainment,”

Two years ago both DStreet and Parkapalooza were honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for their endeavors at The Review’s Annual Music Awards Celebration; and the festival has come a long way since its inception.

“Originally, ‘Palooza was envisioned as a straight-forward concert on the beach, but it has evolved into so much more,” reflects Georgie.  “Each year brings a host of surprises as we work to make the festival better in every way;  but at the core, it is still a music festival. We are indebted to the many musicians who have volunteered their time and talent over the years”.

“We are fortunate that with each of our Parkapalooza events, the support of the community and its participants allows for it to  just keep getting better and better. We strive to provide the best in musical entertainment as well as a fun, family atmosphere.” . 

Sanford Park is a perfect place to spend the day with music and activities that people of all ages can enjoy.   The concert and all activities at Parkapalooza are free aside from a small parking fee that goes to the County Parks to help off-set their festival related expenses. That cost is currently six dollars per car load and includes access to all park amenities as well as the festival.”

“One of the legs of our mission statement is to produce low or no cost music events. We are very proud of the fact that a family can walk into either Palooza festival and enjoy an entire day of quality live music and activities, and not spend a dime. That is our service to the community, adds D Street’s Ed Kerns.

“One of the awkward things about working with a nonprofit organization is it seems like you always have your hand out for something,” admits Ed. “At DStreet we always need help. We need volunteers and we need auction donations. We need sponsors and we need volleyball players. We need musical instrument donations and sand sculptors. Mostly we need people who believe that music makes a positive difference in the quality of life and are willing to help – even if that help is only attending our shows and other live music events.”

In the final estimation, what makes the work of DStreet and this annual Parkapalooza celebration so special is the way these festival organizers have managed to so faithfully commit to the altruistic faith in music to not only heal and inspire, but to serve as a powerful agent for social change and improving the quality of life that we aspire towards.

“There is a moment at each Palooza event where I have a moment to step back and reflect,” concludes Ed. “I’ll look out and see a great band working the stage in the middle of the beach, thousands of people in front of them, a beautiful lake and an armada of boats behind them, framing the entire panorama; and that you feel flowing throughout and from the crowd is incredible.

“That’s what makes Parkapalooza special.”

People interested in becoming involved with the DStreet Music Foundation, or assisting with the Parkapalooza Festival are encouraged to check out their Facebook page or visit” 



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