Tacoma's summer festivals will showcase food, culture and music just about every weekend, from June to September. While the events are a ways off, the work to stage them is well underway.
The all-volunteer celebration of all things 253 music and culture known as the Music and Arts in Wright Park festival, for example, has a roster of fundraisers in the works to pull off the full day of fun and family set for Aug. 10. Spaghetti feeds, yard sales and concerts leading up to the big day are in the works to raise the estimated $10,000 needed to pay for the stage, sound system, insurance and security- All of the bands donate their time.
“We do it for zero money,” said Cody Foster, festival organizer and founder of Cody Foster Army.
This year, MAWP has partnered with Shunpike, a Seattle-based umbrella group for nonprofits that allows the effort to accept tax-deductible donations of cash, checks or debit card online as well as tally in-kind donations to benefit the cause.
MAWP is a free, family-friendly event that will have 14 bands taking to the stage Aug. 10, and vendors of all sorts lining the walkways around the music for a full day of activities. Last year’s event brought 2,500 people to the park.
The festival planted its roots 20 years ago, when Mother Records owners wanted to promote the local music scene. The festival ran for eight years only to go dark for a while. It restarted five years ago, with one cancellation in 2011 because of a lack of funding.
“Our goal now is to never let that happen again,” Foster said.
One semi-snag is that the festival comes at the end of the summer, which is the prime season for bands hitting their tour buses around the country. That fact makes it a little tough to nail down a “full and complete” band list as bands find themselves booked for gigs around the nation. But MAWP, of course, has a roster of bands waiting in the wings for an open slot on the lineup.
“We pretty much have every slot filled,” Foster said, noting that one or two bands might shuffle in and out because of their paying tour dates taking priority to volunteer efforts like MAWP. “It all comes down to money, I understand that. We would love to have a lot of money to pay the bands, but we don’t.”
The bands simply play because they love the work and love the city they call home. On the list so far are: MahnHammer, Blanco Bronco, Death Bed Confessions, Furry Buddies, Hunt, Kramer, Big Wheel Stunt Show, The Purrs and Mosquito Hawk with a few “special guests” in the mix as well.
MAWP Fundraising events:
May 9, 4-8p.m. Spaghetti feast at Louie G’s in Fife – Thursday, May 9, 4 p.m.-8 p.m. $10 all you can eat and there will be some entertainment brought by some dude named Rich Bundy.
May 11, 9 p.m. Java Jive show – Saturday, May 11, 9 p.m., 21+ with Klondike Kate, The Plastards and Le Lo FI for $5 with raffle and giveaways.
May 31, – Friday at the New Frontier. Musical show with raffles, auctions, grab bags and beer specials.
June 22 and 23 – Yard sale, which is still looking for all types of items to sell.