HORICON – For many the Wednesday evening farmer’s market and live music in Horicon have become a staple of summer in Dodge County. This weekend, the same group put together a full day of music, food and activities called The Jersey Street Music Festival.
“Our biggest influence was Brady Street,” said Phoenix Program President Dan Buchner. “It’s this huge and wonderful conglomeration of music, food, sights and smells that is uniquely Milwaukee. While walking around the festival last year, I thought, we’ve got a ton of cool stuff in Horicon, too. There’s no reason that we couldn’t have this here.”
From there, the Phoenix Program members began piecing together everything they need. Carrie Ann Seymour, Tory Harmuth and Buchner had found bands in the Milwaukee area that they wanted to bring to Horicon, and many bands familiar to the farmers market also are performing.
Colin O’Brien, Leroy Airmaster, Blessed Feathers, Samba Unit, Glenview Lane, Vitrolum Republic and Hugh Bob and the Hustle are all slated to perform between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Jersey Street, which is between North Hubbard and Finch streets, in front of Discher Park.
“We’ve always been about the quality of the music that we bring to Horicon,” Buchner said. “And it’s about celebrating music that comes from Wisconsin. You might be surprised at the rich diversity of talent that we have here. We’ll have a little bit of everything.”
Although Jersey Street is unlike Marsh Days or Rock N’ River Jam, it will have some familiar sights like The Taste of Horicon where, at present, 14 vendors have signed up to make food for festival goers. The American Legion will also have a beer tent to help wash down all of those cupcakes, turkey, beef, bar-b-que and sirloin sandwiches, hamburgers, brats, hot dogs and nachos, just to name a few options.
“We hope to bring a little bit of that back again with the Jersey Street Music Festival,” Buchner said. “Our festival will be different from the others mainly in that the music, food and beer will be the main attractions. There won’t be any carnival rides or games or pro wrestlers. But the selection of bands that we have is something very special and won’t be duplicated again. Think of it as a mini Summerfest that’s right here in our back yards.”
The Jersey Street Music Festival will also be a bit of a fundraiser for the Discher Park Dance Hall. The city will donate $1 from every pool pass sold at the Horicon Aquatic Center that day to the restoration, and the Phoenix Program will contribute matching funds for every dollar raised.
There will also be a samba march to kick off the festival at 10:45 a.m. that will go around the block near the festival.
“One of the things that a lot of people seem to miss most are the parades,” Buchner said. “We did some initial checking in to how difficult it would be to bring a parade back and found out very quickly that a parade of any length will get extremely expensive very quickly. But leading a parade is what Samba Unit does - and it’s impossible to hear them and not want to follow them.”
The festival is free to attend, parking is free and there will be activities in the dance hall for children. People are asked to bring a lawn chair if they would like to be seated for shows. Dodge County Emergency Response Team will be on hand to help with parking. For more information about the event, visit www.horiconphoenix.com.