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Unexpected death doesn't halt annual Weekistock festival at BeckyJack's Food Shack

WEEKI WACHEE — Think of raucous Woodstock trimmed down to a neighborhood-friendly size — a gamut of musical genres performed live in the seasonally glorious outdoors, locally famous foods served up alongside 15 craft beers and some 20 vendors of crafts and whatnot.

The result is Weekistock, which will mark its sixth annual staging from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at BeckyJack's Food Shack, west of Weeki Wachee.

Shack owners Kim Curtis and Joe Foster launched the informal, free festival in 2010 just to have fun. Whether it would come off at all this year was questionable after Curtis's death from a heart attack May 28. She was 53.

Believing Curtis would want the show to go on, the restaurant staff of fewer than a dozen stepped up.

"This will be bittersweet for all of us," said server Nancy Everidge, the chief organizer along with cook-server Rachel Crayton.

"This was Kim's baby. This was her big event, with everything for the community. So, we're all doing our best to keep Joe's and her dream alive and make this work," Everidge said.

Attendance at last year's festival was about 500.

A half-dozen bands — country, Southern rock and jazz among them — are scheduled to play continuously on a flatbed trailer parked on a grassy plot behind the restaurant.

Performers will include a troupe of belly dancers, always a highlight, Everidge said, as they invite kids and adults from the audience to attempt a belly twist with them.

A popular American Indian drum circle will perform during the afternoon.

"Kim went out last year with an empty pot and spoon and joined them," Everidge said.

Speaking of the vendors set up in the parking lot, Everidge said, "We try to get some funky things and some different things." Those will include a hookah lounge, driftwood art, pallet furniture, local produce, plants and festival standards like handcrafted candles, photographs and sculptures.

"Of course, we'll have great food all day, a full menu," Everidge said, mentioning BeckyJack's Food Shack's crunchy fish, "which we're sort of famous for." The whitefish breaded with corn flakes and almonds will be served four ways, from taco to Reuben sandwich and platter.

While the restaurant seats only 23 indoors, picnic tables are set up for service outside, with shade covers to be added for the festival.

"People put their name on a table list, go shop and then come back when they're called," Everidge said. She urged visitors to bring their own lawn chairs.

Guides will be on hand to direct roadside parking.

No admission is charged. Vendors do not pay a fee but are asked to make a donation to the Hernando County SPCA and to donate an item for a raffle, with tickets sold throughout the day. Some 30 items will be offered in the raffle, with proceeds going to the animal shelter.

"Kim and Joe have always been big supporters of the SPCA," Everidge said.

To close the festival, the drum circle will perform a special tribute in memory of Curtis.

Contact Beth Gray at graybethn@earthlink.net.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: The names of Kim Curtis and Joe Foster, the owners of BeckyJack's Food Shack near Weeki Wachee, were reported incorrectly in a story on Oct. 16.

>>if you go

Weekistock VI

What: Festival of music, performances, food and craft beer

Where: BeckyJack's Food Shack, 8070 Cortez Blvd., west of Weeki Wachee

When: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday

Phone: (352) 610-4412

Unexpected death doesn't halt annual Weekistock festival at BeckyJack's Food Shack 10/14/15 [Last modified: Friday, October 16, 2015 12:07pm]
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