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Johnny Cash Fest Is Back This Weekend With Live Performances

Cash for Kids, now in its 17th year, takes place Saturday and will raise money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

From left to right: Stephen Davern of the Rock Islanders in 2020 and Emcee Ken Mottet in 2019 at the Cash for Kids festival on the Northwest Side.
Stephen Davern
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MAYFAIR — A festival honoring Johnny Cash, “the Man in Black,” is coming back to the Northwest Side this weekend.

Cash for Kids, a Johnny Cash charity show now in its 17th year, will run 6 p.m.-midnight Saturday at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave. The festival usually happens in January, but it was postponed because of the pandemic, said organizer and musician Stephen Davern.

The festival will feature 10 local bands on two stages, including signature headliners Hayden Thompson and Iron Horse, who are from south suburban Crete and were finalists on “America’s Got Talent.”

All funds will benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The festival launched in 2005 to raise money for the Gompers Park little league baseball team, but it began supporting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation five years ago, Davern said.

“It’s a really, fun, positive event that benefits something terrifyingly terrible but important,” Davern said.

In the past, the festival has raised more than $20,000 for the organization, Davern said. He hopes raise at least $17,000 this year and help the foundation, which has gotten fewer donations during the pandemic.

“All these foundations have gotten killed in the last two years,” Davern said.

Tickets are $20 if bought online before the event or $25 at the door. Davern hopes to see between 800 to 1,100 people attend the festival.

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