ARLINGTON — The musicians are moving the party downtown this year.
The price of admission is a donation of nonperishable food or cash for the Arlington Community Food Bank.
Johnny Green has hosted a summer get-together with other musicians at his place in Arlington in past years. That was the start of Kornstock. This year, they’re turning it into a public music festival.
Green, 59, does “cowboy poetry” with The Pack String band. They’ll be joined by The Folsoms, Wild Orchids Bellydancing, Crooked Mile, Harvey Creek Band and the Wild Turkeys for a series of shows Friday and Saturday at Legion Memorial Park.
This past spring, Green was one of the volunteers who built a new stage at the park.
The stage needed a show.
“This idea came up,” said Green, whose family has lived in Arlington for three generations. “Why not do something for the food bank?”
His band previously has done benefits for Oso firefighters and other local groups. As with past fundraisers, the musicians are donating their time for Kornstock.
“I have very good friends,” Green said. “We give our time away pretty freely.”
Last month, the food bank served 1,160 people. About a quarter of them were seniors. More than 40 percent were between 19 and 54 years old. The rest were children, including 27 who were 2 or younger.
Cash is the most versatile donation, said Jerrie Inman, president of the food bank’s board of directors. The money can be used to buy in bulk, often in partnership with other food banks. It also can go toward utilities, fuel and other expenses.
As for nonperishable food, canned vegetables and fruit, boxed meals, cereal, small containers of peanut butter, soup and kid-friendly meals are high on the list of requests. Diapers size 3 or larger also are needed.
“Whatever people would like to bring,” Inman said. “Let little kids bring what they think other kids would like to eat. It helps us adults. We lose sight of what kids like.”
Many people who stop by the food bank are struggling after a major life change, Inman said. There are some who lost their jobs or are paying hospital bills. There are recent retirees whose medical insurance cost went up as their income dropped. This time of year, many clients are young adults who are couch-surfing, with no long-term place to stay.
“Something happens, and they need help,” Inman said. “That’s what we’re here for.”
Food bank donations tend to come and go, she said. Food drives take place around the holidays or start of the school year. There aren’t as many in the summer. The food bank also is looking for more volunteers.
Event organizers picked this weekend for Kornstock because they wanted dry weather, Green said. The forecast calls for heat, so he urges people to come prepared. The festival could be a good option for those who want to get outside but not overdo it.
“If they want to, bring a chair and bring a pop-up and hide from the sun,” Green said.
Inman is grateful to the musicians and planners who put Kornstock together.
“They’re enormously gifted people,” she said. “But it’s really about their generosity. They’re using their time for this.”
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kornstock music festival
Legion Memorial Park, 114 N Olympic Ave. in Arlington
Friday: The Folsoms at 5 p.m., Wild Orchids Bellydancing at 7, Crooked Mile at 8
Saturday: Harvey Creek Band at 1 p.m., The Pack String at 4, Wild Turkeys at 7