NEW GARB

The Paul Bunyan Statue in downtown Oscoda receives a rockstar makeover in preparation for the Oscoda Rockfest this Saturday. Bunyan sports a bandanna and a guitar on Furtaw Field.

OSCODA – Furtaw Field will be filled with food vendors, music and concert goers this Saturday at 1-10:30 p.m. for the inaugural Oscoda Rock Fest.

Nine bands will take the stage including Grounded, Siren, Everyday Ghost, Silverspork, Damned by Dawn, Polychromic, Assault the Silence, Here After Six and We, The Infamous.

“A lot of these bands, they are seasoned bands. They have opened for major touring bands like Godsmack and Alice Cooper, shared the stage with Saliva just tons of top notch national touring bands, so these are not secondary bands,” said Rock Fest Committee Head Bob Tasior. “These guys are seasoned professionals and the show is just going to be phenomenal because it’s going to grow from the first band all the way to the last.”

The idea for the concert came around last June when Tasior mentioned to the Veteran’s Memorial Park that he’d like to do a benefit concert that brought original rock music to Oscoda.

“They wanted to do something that was going to be maybe a signature event every year and kind of put Oscoda on the map,” said Veteran’s Memorial Park Chairperson Rose Mary Nentwig.

The Oscoda Rock Fest Committee was formed around February and is made up of Tasior, Tom Wdowik of the Oscoda Area Convention and Visitors Bureau who handled all the advertising for the rockfest, Dave Iler  in charge of information technology, sound, the stage and connections as well as work on the website, Nentwig, Devon Tasior dealing with field organizing and Greg and Vicky Cole collecting sponsorships and money for the event. Other non-committee members that have helped to plan the Rock Fest also include Veteran’s Memorial Park Board Member Joe Brinn and Here After Six Drummer Bryan Tasior.

The biggest reason for the concert Bob said was to bring something original to Oscoda for people across the state of Michigan to come and enjoy.

“We want to bring stuff to Oscoda. We want to be proud for Oscoda. We need our own identity. We need more of these type events to get our community recognized,” said Bob.

“What a better way to boost Oscoda’s economy than to bring 2,000, 3,000, 5,000 people here for an event? I think it’ll be good for Oscoda. I think it’ll be good for the people,” said Devon.

In addition to the nine bands performing, The National Anthem will be performed by Lead singer from Here After Six Jake Priest and musician Jennifer Nageale along with Levi Johnson on electric guitar, according to Tasior. There will also be a variety of food vendors available included Rob’s BBQ, original Mexican food from a food truck, Zachzilla’s out of Saginaw serving up gourmet burgers, Hungry Howie’s and the Oscoda Sport Boosters handing out water and pop. There will be picnic tables and bleachers available near the food vendors.

Bob said there will be beer and wine for sale on the field. No outside alcohol will be permitted on the field and coolers will be checked at the gate, according to organizers. Tickets are $10 at the gate on the day of and $7 prior. Tickets can be purchased at AuSable Hardware, Real Estate One and the Oscoda Beach Tourist Trap, as well as, oscodarockfest.org.

All proceeds will go towards the Veteran’s Memorial Park Fund to help build future murals.

“They decided that they wanted to do this and they decided that the park was going to benefit from that, so that’s amazing,” said Nentwig.

Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and sunscreen for the all day event. Parking is permitted at Complete Auto. No parking is permitted on Furtaw Field, according to organizers. Guests can park in the Vinnie’s Hardware back lot and the Oscoda Beach Park as well. Volunteers are permitted to park at The Packhouse. Locals interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact Bob at 274-5301 or email him at rtaz01@gmail.com.

“What a better way to boost Oscoda’s economy than to bring 2,000, 3,000, 5,000 people here for an event. I think it’ll be good for Oscoda. I think it’ll be good for the people,” said Devon.

It is the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, so what better time to start a new rock concert?” said  Bob.

For more information visit oscodarockfest.org or www.facebook.com/oscodarockfest/ on Facebook.