Hoedown for Hunger is a go.
Slated for Saturday (see “If you go"), the annual concert benefits Bend's Community Center and features a bevy of bands of the Americana, folk and bluegrass persuasion.
Acts scheduled to play this year's event include Back from the Dead, Bare Roots, Bend'N Strings, Bitterbrush, Felly Smith, Quincy Street, Bobby Lindstrom, Wild Rye, The Bluestarz, Joe Stevens, Nancy Stevens, Loren & Jay, Runway Ranch Band, Banjo Gallimaufrey, Uke U. Players, Greg & Glenn Topliff, Code 7, Dry County Drifters and Riley's Range Benders. Also, if you're not sold on it yet: There's beer and chili.
The benefit show helps raise funds for BCC's Feed the Hungry program, which provides more than 2,000 meals for homeless and low-income individuals each week.
And if you're not sold now, you may want to see a doctor about your heartless condition.
In recent months, as Bend's Community Center's fate hung in the balance due to some $110,000 in debts, so too did the future of Hoedown for Hunger.
“When the (center) went through that upheaval period, there was a lot of uncertainty about whether the Hoedown would take place," said Jay Bowerman, a member of Quincy Street who helps organize acts participating in the event.
Now, BCC is working toward financial stability, says interim executive director Linda Heatley.
“Things are settling down. We're sticking to our core programs, like Feed the Hungry, our senior meal program, and Keep Them Warm," she said.
To participants, feeding those who are hungry is of great importance, regardless of who's doing it, Bowerman said.
“When (BCC) said, 'We're going to try to keep this thing going,' we communicated with the bands and let everybody tell us whether, in light of what had happened, they were still interested," he said. “The feeling was pretty much unanimous: that the cause is the right cause. Despite the issues that had gone on at the community center, they did want to continue to support feeding those who really needed (it)."
In previous years, the event had been held the first Saturday in October. This year, it was mid-October when Bowerman and other organizers got the word the center would continue operating.
“We put the call out, and the bands say, 'Yeah, let's do it.' Everybody pretty much said, 'We'd love to keep doing this. If it's not (Bend's Community Center), the need is still there — we'll find a way,'" Bowerman said.
The event functions a lot like a festival, he said. Bands rotate every 25 minutes (see schedule at right), “so there are people who will come for two or three sets, because there's one band they really love. Other people will come and spend the whole time. There's just a constant ebb and flow in there."
Heatley asks that those heading to the Hoedown consider bringing donations of warm clothing, survival gear and sleeping bags for the Keep Them Warm program, to keep homeless in the area warm this winter.