Lehigh Valley residents donate $10K in food, beverage tickets to Musikfest cleanup crews

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Heavy rain Friday night into Saturday morning flooded three venues at Musikfest.

Many vendors suffered damage and were forced to close, but as of Sunday night, the festival was just about back in full swing thanks to the work of hundreds of city and county employees, vendors and volunteers.

The crews worked around the clock to clean up the devastation, and in response to their hard work, two community members made a major donation to support the men and women working on the ground at the festival.

Jim Stocklas, an original volunteer at the first Musikfest, and Barry Bartakovits have donated $10,000 in Musikfest food and beverage tickets to the City of Bethlehem’s Emergency Response Management division to provide water and other beverages to the first responders working at Musikfest. 

“Once we heard about the incredible efforts of the city’s emergency services personnel, we knew we needed to do something to support these men and women, many of whom have been working nonstop since yesterday,”  Stocklas said. “The fact that one of the venues is already set to reopen is simply amazing. This is just a small thank you for everything they do, not only during Musikfest but throughout the year.”

The tickets will be used to keep police, fire, health and emergency response personnel well hydrated as they continue the clean-up efforts at the Familienplatz, Handwerkplatz and Volksplatz venues, all of which were closed Saturday due to flooding.

Volksplatz reopened Sunday evening. As of Monday morning, Handwerkplatz and Familienplatz remained closed.

Wade Haubert Jr., deputy director of emergency management/911 for the city, said the donation by Stocklas and Bartakovits is greatly appreciated by everyone working on the cleanup efforts.  

“As you can imagine, the cost to provide water and other beverages for this many people can grow quickly,” Haubert said. “These food & beverage tickets will help us to ensure our many employees on site remain hydrated, allowing them to continue the important task of getting Musikfest’s Handwerkplatz and Familienplatz venues back up and operational as soon as possible.”

Curt Mosel, ArtsQuest’s chief operating officer, said the efforts of Stocklas and Bartakovits are just another example of the incredible support the community has for Musikfest. 

“Since 1984, this festival has received tremendous backing from our community, from the 1,500 volunteers and 160 corporate partners who lend a hand, to the many patrons who attend the festival,” Mosel said.

For additional details and updates, visit the 69 News Musikfest section or their Facebook or Twitter page.

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