WHEN: 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. June 29

WHERE: on the grounds of the Woodstock Harley-Davidson store near the intersection of Routes 14 and 47, Woodstock

INFO: A daylong festival filled with contests, food, pickles and a musical lineup to benefit the Woodstock VFW and local military veterans. Among the acts this year are The University, Spoken Four, Josh Scholl, Johnny Russler and Beach Bum Band, Suburban Cowboys and Wedding Banned. Information: woodstockpicklepalooza.com.

Josh Scholl (Photo provided)

Come for the pickles, the music or both, say organizers of the second annual Woodstock Pickle Palooza. 

With the Woodstock-based Claussen Pickle/Kraft Foods on hand to give out free pickles, the day-long, family event features pickle-themed contests as well as the music of some of the area’s most popular bands.

“We were trying to come up with a festival that was unique to Woodstock, and kind of a natural fit was Claussen Pickles because they are one of the long-standing manufacturers in McHenry County,” said Shari Gray, executive director of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the event.

Scaled back from two days last year, this year’s festival takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. June 29 at the grounds of Woodstock Harley-Davidson. Tickets cost $10 at the door for those 11 and older or $7 in advance at www.woodstockpicklepalooza.com.

Cassandra Vohs-Demann, an area songwriter, performer and owner of A Place to Shine Music in Woodstock, will serve as master of ceremonies and will perform throughout the day.

Bands performing include The University, Spoken Four, “Karaoke Battle USA” winner Josh Scholl, Johnny russler & the Beach Bum Band, Suburban Cowboys and headliner Wedding Banned, which comes form Gas City, Indiana and plays 80s and 90s hits. 

The band was voted “Best wedding band in Chicago” by CBS Chicago and “Best dance band in Chicago” by “Chicago Rocker Magazine.”

With the single “City Lights” released on iTunes and elsewhere, Scholl, of Lake in the Hills, has been performing throughout the Chicago area since his 2011 win on ABC’s “Karaoke Battle USA.” He said he hopes to release a CD this fall, and plans to perform a couple originals this Saturday along with some high-energy covers.

He fronts the 80s tribute act, “The Breakfast Club,” and his vocal styling have been compared to Steve Perry and Freddie Mercury.

With a repertoire of more than 500 songs, Scholl said he’ll be reading the crowd this Saturday.

“It’s going to be seeing what the crowd wants to hear, and I’ll give it to them,” he said. 

He praised his fans for the support they’ve given him the past year and half.

Since “Karaoke Battle USA,” he said he’s been taking more of a grass-roots approach to the music business and learned a lot about the industry.

“Looking back, it’s very surreal, just getting swept up in it all,” he said. “It happened so quickly. I l earned very much about reality TV. Unless you’re constantly on the forefront and onto the next thing, staying relevant in this day and age is very difficult . .

“I’m definitely the wiser for it. It made me more confident that I’m on the right path. I know I can make a difference if I can just get my voice out there.”

Organizers of this year’s festival sought to really emphasize the pickle theme this year, with games such as the Partner PIckle Toss, Pass the Pickle and Find the Pickle. In Find the Pickle, contestants must find a Claussen pickle hidden in whipping cream. 

“You don’t get to use your hands, just your face to find the pickle,” Gray said. 

Arlene Lynes of Woodstock’s Read Between the Lynes will host a couple readings of “Pickle-Chiffon Pie,” along with crafts. 

The Woodstock VFW will sell burgers, brats and hotdogs throughout the day, with the proceeds going toward helping veterans. 



11:30 a.m. – Gates open

11:35 a.m. The University performs

Noon – Storytime and crafts – "Pickle-Chiffon Pie," presented by Read Between the Lynes

12:45 p.m. – Pass the Pickle

1 p.m.  – Storytime and crafts – "Pickle-Chiffon Pie," presented by Read Between the Lynes

1 p.m. – Find the Pickle contest

1 p.m. – Partner Pickle Toss

1:15 p.m. – Spoken Four entertains

2 p.m. – Pass the Pickle

2 p.m. – Partner Pickle Toss

3 p.m. – Find the Pickle contest

3 p.m. – Partner Pickle Toss

3:30 p.m.Josh Scholl performs

4 p.m. – Pass the Pickle

4:30 p.m. – Cassandra Vohs-Demann performs

4:30 p.m. – Find the Pickle contest

4:30 p.m. – Partner Pickle Toss

5 p.m. – Johnny Russler and the Beach Bum Band performs

5 p.m. – Pass the Pickle

6:30 p.m. – Cassandra Vohs-Demann performs

6:30 p.m. – Find the Pickle contest

6:30 p.m. – Partner Pickle Toss

6:45 p.m. – The chamber salutes our military veterans with Cassandra Vohs-Demann singing the National Anthem

7 p.m. – Suburban Cowboys performs

8:30 p.m. – Cassandra Vohs-Demann performs

8:30 p.m. – Find the Pickle Contest (adults only)

8:30 p.m. – Partner Pickle Toss (adults only)

9 p.m. – Wedding Banned performs

11 p.m. – Last call

By JAMI KUNZER - jkunzer@shawmedia.com