New Albany News

Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival

Organizers: Volunteers provide smooth operation for venue

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Volunteer a few hours and enjoy an entire weekend of blues and jazz for free.

Laurie Jadwin, chairwoman of the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival, said 400 volunteers usually work at the event that's celebrating its 15th anniversary June 14-16 in Gahanna.

"With the failure of the (income) tax levy, we'll really need volunteers," she said. "I don't know where we'll be with city staff. We'll have to see what the city does with budget cuts.

"With the 15th anniversary, we'll have great crowds. We'll need all the help we can get."

Presented by the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau, the weekendlong celebration features music from local, regional and national acts, along with food, family activities and entertainment, amusement rides and an artisan market.

Jadwin said volunteers are asked to work a minimum of a three-hour shift, but she welcomes any time that could be offered.

"Volunteers will receive free admission to the festival, a festival T-shirt, snacks and water," she said. "You also get to be part of a great 15th-anniversary celebration. Volunteers are the foundation for the success that this is. Without volunteers, this is nothing. It's a critical component."

A special volunteer-orientation picnic has been added this year, with food and raffle prizes starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, at Hannah Park, 6547 Clark State Road.

"We'll have a kickoff party to thank volunteers in advance," Jadwin said.

A variety of duties will be available to volunteers throughout the festival weekend, including event set-up and tear-down, staffing the volunteer tent, vendor registration, parking lot attendance, assistance with children's activities and dining-area cleanup and recycling.

"They can work admission points, work at the Pepsi trailer to sell merchandise cups, and we also have a bike valet," Jadwin said. "Volunteers can help check in bikes."

She said community organizations return to help year after year, like the Kiwanis, Gahanna Jaycees, American Legion and Christians Overcoming Cancer groups.

"We have hockey team parents and Key Club," she said. "We have Whitehall Key Club. Half the people on the festival planning committee aren't from Gahanna."

This year's volunteer program sponsor is Strathmore Development Co., the new owner of Creekside.

Food for the volunteer orientation is being provided by Rotelli.

For a detailed list of volunteer opportunities and available shifts, go online to signupgenius.com and enter volunteer@creeksidebluesandjazz.com under the FIND A SIGN-UP link.

Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, June 14; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 15; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 16.

General admission is $4. Children under age 12 and members of the military and their immediate family members get free admission (ID required for military).

Admission on Sunday, June 16, is free from noon to 2 p.m. with a donation of a nonperishable food item to benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Weekend passes are $10 and may be purchased online at creeksidebluesandjazz.com or at any entry gate Friday night only.

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