The annual Chillicothe Music Fest Cruise-In & Fundraiser will once again showcase live, local talent, while raising money for the Illinois Valley Central Marching Grey Ghosts.
From 2-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, at Illinois Valley Central High School, the Music Fest will feature, live music, over 30 vendors, a car show from 2-5 p.m., raffles, a 50/50 drawing, carnival games, face painting, food and live and silent auctions.
With local bands and artists playing throughout the day, including the marching band, the main act will be the Central Illinois Jazz Orchestra. IVC Director of Bands Matt Chapman said the Central Illinois Jazz Orchestra puts on a great show.
“They are really good. They play a good standard of popish jazzy tunes like Chicago’s music and they do upbeat Duke Ellington stuff — upbeat stuff — and it’s played well by great amateur musicians,” Chapman said.
Chapman, who got the idea for the Music Fest after being asked why the band doesn’t play for the community years ago, said the picnic-style atmosphere helps bring the community together and highlights the band’s work.
“We like to make it a draw, to make it known that kids here are working extremely hard and they are doing great things for the community and we are going out to places like Washington, DC, and that kind of support helps us do that,” Chapman said.
Being the Marching Grey Ghosts largest fundraiser during the year, Chapman said the proceeds from the Music Fest help cover several expenses.
“We have maintenance costs. We have instruments that need to be repaired. We have staff that we hire. We have drill writers that do all the drill and music writing. We have copyright laws and fees that we have to pay. We have uniforms that have to be up kept and those uniforms are around $500 apiece and we replace those every 10 years. We have a permanent staff like choreographers that write the Color Guard work. We have drummers that write the drum book and teach it. … We have a temporary staff for band camp for those kids … so you’re talking $30,000 just to get us going.”
The great prizes for the day will include, a six-night trip to Branson, Mo., and cash prizes of $250. While the food menu for the day will include pulled pork, hotdogs, potato chips, baked beans, coleslaw, desserts and drinks. The band will also be selling wristbands, T-shirts and old band equipment, such as, old hats and flags.
While the day will be filled with several activities and things to do, Chapman said having people attend the Music Fest helps the students and the organization out more than just financially.
“It really helps our kids to see that there are people out there that are caring for what they do and we don’t always get that at football games because people are going to the concession stand. And when we go to shows it’s just our parents,” Chapman said. “But to know that we have Chillicothe backing us up for one day is really neat to see and they work hard for that.”