Eddie 2 draws thousands to park

PINE LAKE – For 12 straight hours Saturday, local bands took the stages at Pine Lake Park to celebrate a life and give a helping hand to college students.

The second Eddie music festival drew thousands of music lovers from a wide variety of age groups to listen to 16 bands play original music and cover songs throughout the day.

Each band played a 40- to 45-minute set, with nine bands playing inside the location’s dance hall and the others performing outside under a tent.

The festival began last year as a way to celebrate the life of Edward Lakata of Johnstown, who died in June 2013 when his bicycle was struck by a pickup truck. Lakata was a musician who played for bands such as Skyler’s Dream Team, which was scheduled to play at the event.

The event also raised funds for the Edward Lakata Memorial Scholarship fund. A $5 minimum donation to the fund was required to enter the festival, with all proceeds going to the scholarship.

The fund gave two $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors from Johnstown High School this year. One was awarded to a student who excelled in music and the other who excelled in math.

Saturday was also proclaimed “Eddie Lakata Day” in Fulton County by the Fulton County Board of Supervisors. Supervisors gave the proclamation to the family during the festival.

The event also featured an auction to raise money for the scholarship. Festival goers could purchase tickets and put their names in for more than 60 raffle prizes, such as food, wine, crafts or autographed photos of two Buffalo Bills players.

A chicken barbecue and several other food options gave hungry concert-goers a chance to refuel for the long day of celebration.

Isa Pikorn of Germany came to the event while she was visiting her host family in the area. Pikorn said she was enjoying the view out onto the lake and the atmosphere of the event.

“There are a lot of open-minded artists that come up and talk to you here,” Pikorn said of the event.

Bob Shultz of Johnstown was at the festival for his second year, and said he liked helping a good cause.

“We’ll listen to some music, and the atmosphere is fun,” Shultz said.