Photo Credit: Keith Huylebroeck

The nation’s largest free music festival, now in its 38th year, needs community support

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Since 1984, Musikfest has attracted millions of patrons to enjoy live music, try new foods and spend time with friends and family in the Lehigh Valley. The festival, organized by the nonprofit ArtsQuest, would not be possible without thousands of dedicated volunteers. This year more than ever, volunteers are going to be an integral part of the ‘fest and its functioning, and ArtsQuest is asking community members to volunteer their time. “This is an unprecedented year for Musikfest, as we’ve never had to put together the festival in such a short amount of time,” ArtsQuest Volunteer and Internship Programs Manager Cory Stevens said. “It’s going to be tough, but we can pull this off if the community comes together once again to make it happen. We can do it the way we’ve always accomplished the impossible—together.” Experiencing Musikfest as a volunteer allows for a different perspective on the festival and what it means to the community. Staci Scheetz’s parents brought her to her first Musikfest when she was only a few weeks old. She has been coming ever since, volunteering since age 14. "My favorite part about volunteering is the environment you get to volunteer in,” Sheetz said. “You get to meet new people every day and everyone always has such an amazing time!” Volunteers come back year after year because they truly enjoy getting to serve their community through Musikfest. There is a special group of a dozen volunteers who have been volunteering since the initial festival in 1984. Mary Lou Straka is one of those dedicated individuals, who also volunteers with ArtsQuest year-round. “In 1984, Musikfest began with about 500 volunteers staffing the various platzes” Straka said. “With the continued growth of Musikfest, the need for volunteers to support the various aspects of the festival has also increased.” The Musikfest volunteer application can be found on Official t-shirts and food vouchers are provided to volunteers who work the ‘fest. Volunteers are asked for a minimum of three shifts throughout the festival or two weekend shifts. Photos to accompany coverage can be found here.