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Here are a few things that three-year-olds love: sand castles, spaghetti feasts, and dancing like no one’s watching.

Here are a few things that Foster Fest – in its third run around the sun this weekend – offers: sand castles, spaghetti feasts, and dancing like no one’s watching.

The local family-friendly music and art fest is being held on Saturday, Aug. 17, from noon to 10 p.m. at Foster Arend Park.

Coltan Ebertowski, one of the festival coordinators, is excited about the fest’s potential. “It’s still a burgeoning festival, but has really gained a momentum of its own in just these last few years,” he says. “More vendors and local artisans, (a) greater variety of music and entertainment, and ever-increasing community involvement make Foster Fest a growing fest.”

Foster Fest

In part, Foster Fest’s success might be due to the way it engages the local art and music scene to help support the wellbeing of our community – proving that rock ‘n’ roll is good for the soul. Last year, the festival raised more than $10,000 to help Mission 21 combat trafficking, and festival coordinator Oliver Books was captured on video trimming off his flowing locks as promised if the fest surpassed that amount.

The fest hopes to raise even more this year to support the Dorothy Day Hospitality House, a local nonprofit providing free, temporary shelter for the homeless.

But the festival organizers see it as providing something more than monetary support. “This festival feels more like a way to get the community thinking about ways that everyone can come together to make Rochester a better place,” says Books. “It hopefully transcends money.”

The Dorothy Day House will be supported at the fest through donations, raffles (including one for a hand-painted guitar created by local tattoo artist Luke Austin), a spaghetti-eating contest, and the love that surrounds two stages hosting 12 musical acts, and a field full of local art vendors and small business owners.

“This year, we went for a rock-based festival,” says event coordinator Clay Ebertowski. “With hints of punk and indie, the lineup came together nicely.” Look for music in a variety of genres including Pat Egan, Sterling Haukom, Amanda Jay, Mike Terrill (a.k.a. Fires of Denmark), Greentop, Under the Pavilion, Twin Lakes, Absolute Brightness, Fall Risk, Breakthrough, The Shift, and The 9th Planet Out.

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Local sponsors including Sacred Heart Studios, First Alliance, Christ United Methodist Church, Mill Creek Carpets, Gone Inc., Majestic Tents, and EQ Productions have been invaluable in making the fest—something that began as a dream shared by two brothers and a best friend—a reality. In part, the sponsors make it possible to pay all of the local musicians. “Musicians are an invaluable part of making such a special event happen,” says Books. “They deserve it.”

Besides supporting a tremendous cause with local art and music, Foster Fest will also host food trucks, craft vendors, a shaved ice stand, and the potential to play at the water park. As Books puts it, the fest is “the real thing…organized by Rochester people to show this community the power in grassroots music and arts communities.”

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