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Hopstring Fest Returns Aug. 23 With Bands, Craft Beer

Annual fest at Silver Cross Field continues to grow, organizer Mike Trizna said. This year's event is Aug. 23.

For the third year, Hopstring Fest will return to downtown Joliet's Silver Cross Field, this time with rock band Cracker leading the musical lineup.

This year's fest is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at the stadium, 1 Art Schultz Drive.

Organizers Mike and Kathy Trizna launched the fest as a celebration of live music, food and brews. In its first year, the 12-hour event drew more than 1,200 people, Mike said. Last year, around 3,000 people showed up.

The couple owns Chicago Street Pub, dubbed Joliet's best bar by by Patch readers. 

"In the pub, we have live music several nights a week," Mike said. But with limited space at the bar, the couple decided to look for a bigger venue for a local music festival.

"This is Joliet," Mike said. "People like to get out and about and have fun. There's a lot to do, but there's nothing like this."

This time around, rockers Cracker will lead off the main stage lineup. The band, which scored a huge hit with its album "Kerosene Hat" in the 1990s, is getting ready to release a new collection of songs, "Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey."

As Hopstring has become more well known, Mike said it's become easier to attract bigger musical acts.

"Hopstring is starting to be considered one of the major fests in Illinois," he said. 

This year's main stage lineup:

  • 9:50-11:30 p.m.: Cracker
  • 8:40-9:25 p.m.: The Righteous Hillbillies
  • 7:30-8:15 p.m.: The Steepwater Band
  • 6:20-7:05 p.m.: Miles Nielson & the Rusted Hearts
  • 5:10-5:55 p.m.: John Condron & the Old Gang Orchestra
  • 4-4:45 p.m: Edward David Anderson
  • 3:05-3:45 p.m.: Chicago Farmer
  • 2-2:45 p.m.: The Regressors
  • 1:05-1:40 p.m.: Alex Hoffer
  • Noon-12:40 p.m.: Leadfoot
  • 11-11:35 a.m.: The Prairie Ghosts
Area musicians will also perform all day long at the Deschutes Brewery side stage and the Red Betty IPA side stage.

Another entertainment area will be an "artist colony" of sorts. Local artists will have their own tents to offer art sales and demos, Trizna said. 

Next to the artist colony, another stage will feature performances by younger artist, including high school musicians.

"It's nice to get not just local but local up and coming [artists]," Mike said.

The event is family friendly, and Mike said guests are welcome to bring their kids to the daytime festivities and return later for more live music.

"It's a 12-hour event, so people can come and go as they please all day," he said.

Brews, food on tap

In addition to 12 hours of live music, Hopstring also features a lineup of local restaurants and, of course, a wide selection of beers.

"One of the fun parts of owning the bar is doing research on beers that up up and coming," Mike said. 

This year's fest will feature beer from Pabst Blue Ribbon, Magic Hat, Cider Boys, Old Milwaukee Light, Kona Brewing Company, Red Hook, Milwaukee Brewing, Flossmoor Brewing, Central City Brewing, Lagunitas and Two Brothers.

This year, Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant will also be on board offering a selection of wines. 

Local restaurants will also be represented at Hopstring, including McBrody's, Jody's Hot Dogs, Bothwell Farms, Gji's Sweet Shoppe and Stefanich's Restaurant. Fest-goers can also purchase food from the Joliet Slammers concession stands.

Trizna said the event continues to get bigger each year.

"Next year it could fill the whole park," he said. "This is really a local community event and it will be as long as they let me do it."

Hopstring is still accepting vendors, artists and sponsors. To get involved, contact Trizna at miketrizna@yahoo.com.

Tickets on sale now

Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door.

Tickets are available online at:

Tickets can also be purchased in-person at Chicago Street Pub and the Joliet Slammers box office.

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