Friday, July 7 is Grow Benzie’s annual fundraiser, Bayou in the Barn. There will be a live and silent auction and yard games throughout the property to enjoy. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blanket to relax on the grass. Ticket admission includes entry to the event; merchandise, food and drinks can be purchased separately.
Entertainment for the evening includes two Grammy Award-winning artists, Chubby Carrier—“The World’s Premier Zydeco Showman”—& the Bayou Swamp Band, Peter “Madcat” Ruth & the Midnight Blues Journey, as well as the local favorite, K Jones & the Benzie Playboys. “We’re extremely fortunate to have this level of energy and talent in one place,” says Josh Stoltz, Grow Benzie Executive Director. “Zydeco is a blend of rock and roll and country music. To me, a mix of both WTCM and WKLT—perfect for a Friday night, summertime party in Northern Michigan.”
Food vendors will be serving Louisiana cuisine such as jambalaya, barbecue and beignets—sweet French doughnuts—and of course Grow Benzie’s food truck will be on site. The menu items will include ingredients from local farms, including greens and peppers that have been grown at Grow Benzie.
“This fundraiser is important to our organization, and all the programs we provide the community such as our after-school youth activities, our business incubators, and food and farming classes,” said Mike Zielinski, Grow Benzie vice-chair. “We provide opportunities for folks to shine in their own way at Grow Benzie. It encourages participation in the community and it helps us all grow—people are happy to be a part of it.”
Grow Benzie is non-profit organization increasing access to healthful foods, jobs, life skills and each other, and utilizes it’s 4-acre community center in Benzie County to accomplish its mission. The former commercial nursery space includes greenhouses, event center, commercial kitchen and sewing studio, all of which are utilized for educational programs and incubating ideas and businesses such as apprentice farmers, food truck, value-added food entrepreneurs, farmers market and after-school programs. For information about Grow Benzie or the event, call 231-882-9510 or visit GrowBenzie.org