For the eighth year in a row, a street party will take over downtown Jefferson City on Saturday night as Angiepalooza returns.
The annual event began in 2012 after event organizer Tim Tinnin lost his wife, Angie, to cancer. The party atmosphere is meant to be a celebration for those who have beaten cancer, those who are fighting cancer and those who, like Angie, have been lost to cancer.
The party is 6:30-11:30 p.m. at High and Monroe streets, and will feature three bands on the big stage: Blues DeVille, Five Turn Knot and Shiloh Country Band. Admission to the event is free, though donations are always accepted. Festival cups and food will be sold, as well as some Angiepalooza merchandise, with all proceeds going toward iPads and bells for local cancer centers. The bells are used to celebrate when someone has completed treatment and the iPads are to help patients feel more comfortable as they go through treatment.
However, proceeds will also go toward a new initiative Tinnin is launching that seeks to support girls and women fighting cancer and remind them that not only are they still beautiful, but they are warriors. The project is still in its beginning stages and is not quite ready to be fully launched, Tinnin said, though he hopes to be able to move forward soon.
Tinnin said this year's event is expected to be the best yet, with many surprises along the way.
"Like every year when we do Angiepalooza, there's always special surprises throughout the night," Tinnin said. "This year, we are blowing the roof off the place with some surprises. We've got some great stuff planned."
A new feature this year, Tinnin said, will be the backdrop, which will be a 25-foot jumbotron.
"That's something Jeff City's never had," Tinnin said. "Since the very inception of this thing, I said we will always have the very best lights, stage, sound and production and vans of anybody. It's got Angie's name attached to it. It's going to be the best."
He added that anyone attending the show should keep their eyes on the stage and the screen — otherwise, they'll miss something.
"We're throwing some stuff up there that you're never going to see again," Tinnin said, adding that a video team will also be there. "Have your happy faces on, cause you'll probably be on that jumbotron!"
Tinnin said new sponsors have joined the event this year, including Barvino, which opened last year on High Street and will offer VIP seating for Angiepalooza. Tinnin said for $150, patrons can get a table outside that seats four and a $100 voucher for food and drink at Barvino during the event.
"I think it's going to open up a demographic that maybe wouldn't of come before," Tinnin said, noting seating is not typically offered during the five-hour event and some people would be more interested if they knew they could sit down and enjoy food and wine while participating. "We're really happy to have Barvino on board."
Angiepalooza has grown each year and Tinnin is committed to making each year better than the year before. He said the first event was simply meant to be a party that celebrated his late wife and the idea sort of snowballed into this large community event that seeks to celebrate and honor all who have been touched by cancer.
"It's kind of appropriate that it's blown up to this just ridiculous level because that's kind of the way (Angie) was," Tinnin said. "She was this ridiculous goofball who was just bigger than life. The show ought to be bigger than life, too."
And the fact that it's become less about Angie specifically and more about cancer survivors and patients is only right, he said.
"(Angie) was my rock star, but everybody's got one. And this needs to be about everybody," Tinnin said. "She was the catalyst."
At this year's event, those who have had cancer or are currently fighting the disease will get a glow stick when they arrive. Tinnin said at some point during the show, all the lights will be dimmed and attendees will be able to see how many people in their own community are affected by the disease.
With so much planned for this year's Angiepalooza, Tinnin said he really only has one fear at this point: How will he top it next year?
"If you're going to make one show this year, you make (Angiepalooza)," Tinnin said. "We pull out all the stops."
For more information on Angiepalooza, visit the event's Facebook page.