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Free for the Homies: Local Fest TC

Kristi Kates - August 29th, 2011
Free for the Homies: Local Fest TC
By Kristi Kates
“Local Fest TC 2011” is what Christopher “Wink” Winkelmann calls it - and fun is what both locals and visitors alike call it. It’s a free festival on the way to you and yours this Labor Day weekend - that’s right, free - and it’s set to be chock-full of music, food, vendors, and did we mention fun?
“This is a fantastic way to close out your summer and support your community at the same time,” Winkelmann enthuses.
Founded and put together by Winkelmann - who also fronts the local band Soul Patch - and friend Ryan MacManus (of TC’s Loading Dock), the event was conceived as a free festival “for the locals,” as Winkelmann puts it.
“At the time, I owned and operated Home Grown Organic Eatery and was doing the Soul Patch thing as well,” he explains, “so I told Ryan I would talk with my friends in the food/music/festival scene and put a lineup together of all Northern Michigan and greater Traverse City talent, and get everybody on board for food vendors. Ryan then added to the list and the idea. We put the final touches on and had a great all-day, free event for the community, by the community, in a very central location in our beautiful city. Every single musician, sound engineer, food vendor, and craft vendor is there on their own time and merit.”
The fest, which has taken place over the past several yeas, also offers vendors free booth space for the day so that the vendors themselves make money, instead of having to pay high festival-booth fees.
“We are looking for any and all craft, art, and any other kind of vendors who are willing to come down with some goods to our vendor area to promote their stores and products,” Winkelmann says, “they will not be charged a cent from the event.”

You won’t be charged a cent for the event either; the only fees to attendees will be for food, drink, and other products they choose to purchase from those aforementioned vendors. The admissions and entertainment are all free, and there will be a lot to choose from.
“The entertainment is probably my favorite of all we’ve put together,” Winkelmann says, “it’s very diverse and includes acoustic and plugged-in and a whole mess-load of great talent. The lineup includes Soul Patch (S.P.i.N.), The FunDubMentals, NorthShore, and up and coming original act called SeldomeTone, Blake Elliot, Blue Dirt, and Wink “Solo” Patch featuring Samantha Winkelmann.
The food, meanwhile, is set to be handled by Wishbones Cafe/EMS Catering, and the Lifer Skate Shop is set to have a vending booth of their own as well as some street skate demos.
“The evening will close with an All Night Dance Party with DJ DeLux and DJ Sickedelics inside from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.,” Winkelmann says, “and again, there’s no cover charge.”

Winkelmann says part of the fun of putting together the event was in large part due to being able to work with his friend MacManus.
“Ryan and his family have been very dear and helpful to me for many years of my life. I’ve always had great respect for Ryan’s willingness to try different things, and for not always putting himself first. This event is something of a ‘giving back’ of all the support we get - by ‘we,’ I mean Ryan and The Loading Dock, Soul Patch, and all the other participating musicians; we know that without all of your support of all of us and what we do, we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing.”
All of the people working on Local Fest TC 2011, Winkelmann says, have come together to provide “one entertaining day of what we do and have to enjoy in this place we call home.”
“It simply makes me very proud to call Traverse City my home and its population my family,” Winkelmann concludes, “and, as always, I look forward to performing for everybody - it’s what I do.”

Local Fest TC 2011 will take place on Sunday, September 4 at The Loading Dock’s parking lot at 205 South Lake Street in Traverse City. The event will run from noon to 2 a.m. with outside entertainment ending at 8 p.m.; this is a community event with tickets free to all ages.
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