SPRINGDALE — Music fans and community members rallied together Friday to celebrate the Zion Summer Fest, a fundraiser for Springdale’s annual Zion Canyon Music Festival.
The fest started early, with outdoor activities starting at 2 p.m. at the Zion Canyon Community Center,126 Lion Boulevard in Springdale.
During the day, there was an inflatable bounce house for the kids, foam machines, snow cones, a 150-foot slip and slide, food and a beer and wine garden.
Attendees chatted, ate, drank and listened to music while their kids played in a social and fun environment that planners hoped to achieve, Julie Hancock, Canyon Community Center director said.
“Everybody’s showing up, everybody’s in a good mood, the music’s awesome,” she said. “It’s great.”
While there was no official count available yet on how much money they raised or how many people attended, Hancock said it looked like they had gotten as much as they were hoping for and reached their goals.
“The thing with this is we want a lot of community support, and we’re getting it,” she said, “with the volunteers; and the community is showing up, and that’s what we were going for. So I think we’ve accomplished what we were wanting to do.”
Although it started slowly, with few people showing up at 2 p.m., Hancock said the turnout later in the evening was “awesome.”
This is the first year they’ve done the Summer Fest, Hancock said, but they want to try and turn it into an annual event.
Summer Fest also serves to remind people that the music festival is coming up and to bring the community into it, Hancock said.
This year, three performances from local talent brought in the music festival vibe during the evening: Carlie Wall, BrickWalker and Raven Cain.
For Cain, the event was important because it gave people a chance to listen to local artists’ music.
“Music is the expression of an artist, their inner soul,” Cain said. “And when you get to see the live music, it’s almost like watching a picture of time in their lives. This is what they feel at that time.”
He got involved when Gordon Strang, a local musician who helped with the Summer Fest, asked him to get involved and for his band to play.
Strang also had to fill in as drummer for the band, getting to also perform at the event.
As for the actual music festival, which is now in it’s seventh year, Hancock said attendees can expect “just another fun two-day event.”
The festival won’t change much from their tried-and-true formula, but the festival’s board has been working to bring in new performers.
They have also had to fight, in the last couple of years, the Springdale Town Council, which has largely helped support the festival for the past six years, but who have been adding conditions and supporting the festival somewhat less wholeheartedly, to keep the town out of possible liability issues.
It was “touch and go” for a while, Hancock said, whether they would have the town’s support and would able to continue.
The event overall was a success, however, and fans of the music festival can expect to see this year’s festival alive and well September 25 and 26.
“You’ll have a ball,” Hancock said.
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