Rain or Shine, Rent Party Picnic Will Go On this Saturday

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“We are going to embrace the weather, whatever it is,” said Rent Party organizer Chris Dickson. “Rain happens.”

True, that. But a little rain in the forecast won’t stop Rent Party — the little non-profit that could — from hosting its first-ever, all-day, outdoor music festival, the Rent Party Family Picnic, on Saturday.

The event, which kicks off at noon in Maplewood’s Maplecrest Park, will feature musical performances by many of the musicians who have played the Rent Party stage over the last half decade.

“Our hope is that the Rent Party Family Picnic will not only be a celebration of what we have accomplished in our first five years, but a way to bring different people into the Rent Party tent and let them know about the work we do,” said Dickson in a previous article.

Since October 2009, Rent Party has presented live music events, with the proceeds supporting local hunger fighting initiatives. Rent Party supports two food pantries — Our Lady of Sorrows in South Orange and St. Joseph’s Church in Maplewood.

Rent Party has also built and maintains 30 raised garden beds, in cooperation with the South Orange Elks and the Maplewood Community Garden, that provide more than 2,000 lbs. of fresh produce to the pantries they support. Rent Party’s Back Pack Pals program provides a weekend’s worth of food to an average of 80 food-insecure children in the South Orange-Maplewood School District.

“We are incredibly proud of the impact we have had in the community in the last five years and we’re looking forward to the next five years,” said Dickson.

In October, Rent Party will move to a bigger venue, The Woodland in Maplewood (aka the former home of the Maplewood Woman’s Club). And, the Rent Party Family Picnic will also serve as the record release party for Rent Party’s 5th anniversary CD.

There will be food vendors at the picnic; people can visit the Facebook page for updates.

And speaking of food, that’s why Rent Party exists — and this event is no exception.

“A big part of Saturday’s Rent Party Family Picnic is going to be our food drive,” said Dickson. “We want to collect a ton of food to help our neighbors in need.”

Here is a list of what the food pantries need most:

Cold cereal (low sugar) or oatmeal
Powdered or shelf-stable milk
Pasta sauce (in cans, not glass jars)
Mac & Cheese
Canned veg (low or no salt preferred)
Canned fruit (in natural juice, not syrup)
Canned or dried beans
Canned soup (hearty, low salt preferred)
Rice (1 lb bags)
Peanut butter

In addition to helping fight hunger, attendees will experience some of the greatest local, live music around.

“And, if it rains a lot, there will be kayak races on Maplecrest 3!” said Dickson.

Rent Party Family Picnic
Saturday September 6, 2014
12 Noon – 9 PM
Maplecrest Park
12 – 12:40 Dollar Store Riot
12:55 – 1:35 Sad About Girls
1:50 – 2:30 Gumwall
2:45 – 3:25 Rebecca Turner
3:40 – 4:20 Miss Ohio
4:35 – 5:15 Marco Ranieri Band
5:30 – 6:10 Tri-State
6:25 – 7:05 American Ambulance
7:20 – 8:00 Deena & The Laughing Boys
8 :15 – 8:55 Karyn Kuhl Band

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