Five businesses and several vendors will line Cave Creek Road on the first Saturday of every month beginning June 5.
The plans are part of what’s intended to be the first annual Creekfest, which will also include live music, a drive-in movie, family-friendly activities, shaved ice, and drink specials across the participating businesses, with the proceeds going to local charities.
“What we’re anticipating is a block party-style charity fundraising series of events,” said Rebecca Harding, Local Jonny’s Tavern and Cafe general manager and Creekfest event coordinator.
“There’s different themes for each business, so each person that represents their business has decided these are the things that we’re going to offer for everybody to come have fun with.”
The Eddy and Hibachibot will have a food truck roundup, as well as arcade games like Skee-Ball and pinball for eventgoers to play.
Big Earl’s Greasy Eats will sell shaved ice, as well as offer families a bounce house and show a drive-in movie.
Brian’s Black Mountain Barbecue will host a special lunch from 3 to 6 p.m. with special guest characters Elsa from “Frozen” and Spider-Man, as well as live music.
Frontier Town will have its shops open and will host the popular Quick Duck Draw game.
Local Jonny’s expanded its premises to set up a second bar in the parking lot, as well as a bounce house and slip and slide. It also plans to have space for its vendors to hand out free samples of beer, wine and spirits.
Local Jonny’s host rock artist Seth Loveless and the Chacons.
“If you’re too old for the bounce house and you’re old enough for the samples of some things that we offer, then head on over to those tents,” Harding said.
Harding strongly hopes this event will serve audiences of all ages.
“You can come as a person that’s just looking to grab a drink and make a donation, or you can be a family that wants to get out for the day and visit all of the businesses and see what they have going on that day.
“All of the business will be participating, and we’re going to be giving a percentage of our sales to each one of the charities.”
A percentage of June 5 proceeds will go to the Foothills Food Bank, whose mission is to fight hunger while giving hope.
Later charities will be Rural Metro Fire, Desert Foothills Land Trust and Arizona Foothills 911.
“I chose them because when we first started this, I didn’t want to speak for everyone else, and I saw this event as an opportunity to really raise some awareness for some local charities,” Harding said.
This event will not be the first charitable event that Harding has coordinated, however. Local Jonny’s and Big Earls did one fundraising event prior for the victims of the Ocotillo Fire, raising around $40,000 last year.
One of the most successful parts of that charity event was the decision to set out water pitchers and large buckets for people to donate money, a practice which Harding plans to put out during Creekfest.
“We had some extremely generous donors when we did this, and we even had an anonymous donor donate $5,000 in a water pitcher, which we are thankful for,” Harding said.
In addition to all the fun and games, Harding plans to welcome charities to set up booths to interact with customers.
“We’re also having each one of the charities come out in full form to answer questions about what they do and how they provide for the community,” Harding said.
For those who may not want to donate money, Harding is still looking for extra sets of hands to help with setting up the event.
“I’m not only asking for everybody to come out and donate, but we’re also asking for volunteers to come out and donate their time to help out,” Harding said. “For me, my main objective is to make sure that we’re raising enough money for these charities to where it is worthwhile for everybody to come out and donate their time.”
“From a business perspective, this is the time of year where everything starts to slow down, and a lot of these charities rely heavily on the support of their volunteers,” Harding said. “When you have a bunch of your volunteers leaving for the summer, it’s not always that easy.”
Harding has remained optimistic that this event will draw a crowd and that these businesses will be able to contribute a large amount of charitable donations.
“I’m looking for this to be a huge success for everybody so that we can raise money for these charities,” Harding said.