The Annual Vets Summer Fest is an event that is a lot of fun, but with a very important cause. There are homeless veterans throughout the nation and New Jersey is no stranger to this issue. For nearly a decade this event has raised over $150,000 for homeless veterans and Operation Chillout.
A donation-oriented event, the festival takes place this year on Saturday Aug. 10 at Vasa Park in Mount Olive. The day runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is family-friendly with kids activities included. There is also a motorcycle run, car show, food, beer and wine, vendors (Craft Show and Direct Sales), and live music all day.
Operation Chillout is an all-volunteer outreach dedicated to ending to the crisis of homelessness for veterans, men and women throughout New Jersey and parts of NE Pennsylvania by promoting awareness of the multi-faceted nature of poverty and homelessness and advocating for sustainable solutions and programs serving the needs of the poor, addicted, abused and homeless to improve the quality of their lives leading to permanent change and independent living.
Switching things up a bit this year Vets Fest will be featuring national headliner the Dana Fuchs Band mid afternoon. Opening for Dana will be local favorites Atlanta Cafe Band. Capping off the night on stage will be B-Sides.
“Support for this event has been amazing over the years,” said Tony DeStefano, one of the organizers and a veteran himself. “People are so giving. Whatever we can do to help our homeless brothers and sisters we want to do. And money talks, let’s face it. The money raised from this event goes a long way in making that happen.”
Two of Fuch’s albums, Bliss Avenue and Songs from the Road reached the Top 10 of the Blues Album Chart of Billboard magazine. Fuchs is known for her heart-felt live performances.
The festival is sponsored by Millington Bank, Transwestern, Navitend, PNC Bank, WRNJ, WXPN, and Joe Hirsh Productions. Sound for this event will be provided by Kennedy Events.