After 40 years in Washington County the Memorial Day tradition of Jam For Kids Music Fest is taking a break.
“We’re in a stage of reform,” said longtime organizer and volunteer Mary Fiegel. “We’ve been successful for 40 years and things are changing and we’re just taking a year off during this revision process.”
Jam for Kids started May 3, 1974 after Mike Engeleiter, Bob Cross, Bob Mueller and Vern Klemme approached Pat Czerniak and Mary Fiegel about having a music fest fund raiser for cognitively disabled athletes.
The name “Jam For Kids” was created as most of the athletes were children who participated in team sports through the West Bend Recreation Department.
The first Jam For Kids was held in 1975 at Mike’s Village Inn on the corner of North Main Street and Park Avenue.
From 1976-1994, the music fest was held at several locations including the Holiday Inn (currently Pick n’ Save north), Bob’s Starlite Inn, and Our Place Tavern.
Jam For Kids moved to Regner Park in West Bend in 1995 and in 2012 it relocated to Jug’s Hitching Post in Kohlsville.
“I’m hopeful we’ll come back bigger and stronger,” Fiegel said. “Our break will not hinder the financing of Special Olympic programs in this area.”
Fiegel said Jam may create something for this fall. We’ll keep you posted.
Photos courtesy Jam Music Fest.