by Ariana Hones
The last days of summer drenched in a Green Lake atmosphere of camaraderie and music.
The Mill Pond-lined streets blocked off as hundreds flock for a final evening of jubilee.
Street Bash 2018.
In its second year, the summer party, sponsored by Green Lake residents Mike and Jill Havey, sets out to create a space of celebration for the entire community.
Green Lake area community members will be welcomed onto the streets of downtown Green Lake Saturday, Sept. 1 from 6 to 10 p.m. to enjoy live music, food and drinks from local eateries.
The event is a fund-raiser, but not in the traditional sense.
“Street Bash is unique because even though it is raising money for the community, there is not pressure to donate. More so it is a community block party,” Mike said. “Even if we only make 100 dollars it is about the buzz and engaging the community — that is the most rewarding part.”
With community involvement as the focus of the festivities, the Havey family is underwriting the expenses. Proceeds raised at the event will go back to three local non-profit organizations:
Green Lake Renewal, Green Lake Association and the American Legion.
Not only does Street Bash support organizations that are looking after the local environment and people within it, it also works to introduce new faces into the community.
Like last year, the Street Bash will host the Davidson County Band from Chicago.
The Haveys decided to bring back the five-piece band that received such “rave reviews.”
“It is exciting because the band has a great Chicagoland following, so many people will come up to the party to see them and then stay in Green Lake,” Mike said.
The spark for the inaugural bash started with a Chicagoland performance by the Davidson County Band itself.
“We had seen the band and loved them so much we wanted to get them to come up to Green Lake to play for our friends,” Mike said. “Then, I thought, ‘That is so self serving. Why not do something good for the community and invite everyone?’”
He estimates that between 500 to 600 people attended last year’s party.
The sold-out food stands, bar that worked hard to stay stocked and hotels booked full for the weekend proved that sentiment of success.
Street Bash represents community collaboration in its truest form: People coming together just to be together.
J’s BBQ of Ripon, La Playita of Wautoma, Le Prince French Crepes of Appleton, Jenny’s Egg rolls of Oshkosh all will bring their delicious bites to the community.
A cash bar also will be available for drinks.
Accessible to all, Mike believes that Street Bash can be one of the few community fund-raisers that can truly bring everyone in. As a volunteer-run event, he described the gratitude for participation that is felt on both ends.
“People were so thankful to have a community event where everyone was welcome and our volunteers were having such a great time seeing friends and acquaintances they didn’t want to leave after their shifts finished,” he said.
Not wanting to leave proved to be a trend.
When it came time to shut down the party, nobody wanted to go home.
The Davidson band agreed to play for a few more moments to great glee.
So what does Street Bash represent to Mike?
“This is small town America at its best.”