Thanks to Haveys, GL hosts largest street bash

MIKE AND JILL Havey smile, happy to see more than 1,000 people in attendance at the 2019 Community Street Bash they sponsored. Joe Schulz photo

by Joe Schulz

A sea of people flooded Water Street, between the Dartford Mill Pond and Town Square, as music echoed for blocks serenading an end-of-summer tradition marching into its third year.

More than 1,000 people partied to benefit local non-profits at the 2019 Green Lake Community Street Bash.

The event featured the Chicago-based Davidson County Band, playing hits spanning an era of country music from Johnny Cash to Dierks Bentley.

The event was sponsored by philanthropists Mike and Jill Havey, who created the event to support the projects of the local American Legion Post, Green Lake Association and Green Lake Renewal.

This year’s bash was the biggest yet, with an estimated 1,100 attendees, compared to 600 in the event’s first year and 800 in 2018, Mike Havey noted.

A SEA OF people flood Water Street, behind Town Square, for the 2019 Community Street Bash. Joe Schulz photo

It’s rewarding to see so many people show up to support local non-profits, he said. “That’s really the reason Jill and I do it, seeing people enjoying themselves in a fun atmosphere. It’s nice to do something and have people enjoy it.”

After the large turnout, next year’s party may flood a different street in Green Lake, Havey noted. “There’s a feeling that we’ve peaked out at the location we’re at.”

Havey believes it’s important to keep fund raisers fresh in order to keep folks coming back each year.

“You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again, because then once you reach your peak it’s not new anymore,” he said.

The Davidson County Band has been a staple of the event since its inception. The Haveys first met the band after an event in Illinois.

“We just hit it off; I asked them to come to Green Lake and once they found out it was for a fund raiser, they really bent over backwards,” Havey said. “They cut their fee in half of what they normally charge.”

The Haveys have become good friends with the lead singer Marc Alberts, who celebrated his birthday at this year’s street bash.

He added it’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive for the band to come from Chicago each year; the band keeps coming back because of the community’s welcoming response.

“They’re a great group of guys, and we’re really lucky to have them come on a holiday weekend,” Havey said. Without the help of volunteers and the local community showing up each year, the event wouldn’t survive, Havey added. “That’s the lifeblood, the community support and that’s what makes us want to do it year after year. We just want to thank the community for coming out.”