With Halloween themes and a full day of free family fun, the 11th annual Willow Waterhole MusicFest takes place Saturday, Oct. 28, with a whole lot of treats.
The amusement at the Willow Waterhole Greenway at 5300 Dryad Drive lasts from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., featuring live musical performances all day, a costume contest for people and dogs, a bouncy “haunted” house, a “trunk or treat art car collection,” and all kinds of carnival-type game booths with prizes for children.
Some dramatic and clever décor will be featured with the entire area around the gazebo, with a “Halloween arch” and a “bar” where skeletons and ghoulies will be posed as if enjoying beverages.
There will also be booths selling crafts and educating the crowd about the work of local non-profit organizations — along with food trucks with plenty of good eats for sale.
MusicFest chair and longtime conservancy board member Howard Sacks said over 200 volunteers make the event happen in the Brays Oaks Management District. Its entire budget comes from funds raised by the conservancy.
“This is a beloved and anticipated event with an underlying mission to strengthen the community through music,” Sacks said. “We have a diverse community, and this event brings the community together at a quality event.”
The MusicFest has drawn as many as 3,000 people in past years.
Sacks said the event’s music and entertainment director, local teacher and musician Al Campbell, recruited bands that will bring “many facets of music and professional music groups who generously participate and donate their time due to their passion for the Willow Waterhole Greenway and what it can mean to the community.”
Main stage musical performances include:
— Santana-inspired music by Santanabraxas
— Jazz, contemporary and classical from Entouche featuring Horace Alexander Young
— Soul R&B and jazz by Jazzie B and the Funky Kees
— New Orleans and Southern style music by Matthew Hartnett and the Gumbo All-Stars
— Classic rock from the Reverb Cartel
— Funky jazz, blues and rock from Eric Demmer Band.
At the Shwartz Gazebo will be musical entertainment by students from Parker Elementary School, Meyerland Middle School, Westbury High School and Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
MusicFest has grown from a jazz-only event and embraced all-day family fin.
“It was our idea and part of our mission to provide meaningful activities at the Greenway and gather community,” Sachs said.
Free parking will be available at the Westbury High School parking lot at Dryad and Chimney Rock.
In case of rain on Oct. 28, the event will be rescheduled for the following day.
— by Arlene Nisson Lassin