“This was originally a two day Fun Fest, which wasn’t nearly as big,” said Art Harris, organizer of the Nordeast Summer Jam at Immaculate Conception Church and School, Columbia Heights.
“In 2010 we added a Friday night, which expanded our appeal. Many parish festivals are increasingly downsizing, while we are continually trying to expand and take risks by bringing in higher entertainment. This year we have a Thursday kickoff event, which is really a kickoff party that celebrates all of our 200-plus volunteers and utilizes all of our tents while Jonah and the Whales perform.
He said the tents hold 1,200 people at their max capacity, and Nordeast Grain Belt beer was the main sponsor.
“Through this fundraiser, we can make them aware of who we are. We continue to grow, it’s a quality event, and we have great value, security, and service. We make our own food, and we cater to families of all ages. We have a fantastic Elvis and Sinatra impersonator, along with an Ed Sullivan impersonator who introduces Rubber Soul, a Beatles tribute band that has played here 9 years in a row and counting.”
The festival raises around $100,000. Harris said, “We truly expand beyond our local community. It’s actually a 40 year old annual event. We were intentional in branding this years’ festival as Nordeast Summer Jam. The volunteers work diligently and work successfully and I am so proud of them and their leadership that they have shown.”
Below: Photos of Summer Jam. (Photos by Nik Linde)