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Musikfest bids farewell to founder, ArtsQuest president Jeff Parks

Published On: Aug 01 2014 09:02:53 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 01 2014 10:21:19 PM CDT

Musikfest: Farewell to founder Jeff Parks

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

The 31st Musikfest is underway and it's a special one for the man who started it three decades ago.

ArtsQuest President Jeff Parks is retiring in January.

69 News caught up with him Friday night, on his final first night of MusikFest in his role.

"I'm feeling great, this is a wonderful evening," he said.

He walked around greeting volunteers, even riding the shuttle with people from the southside location to the northside festivities.

"We started ArtsQuest in January of 1984 planning for the very first MusikFest," he told 69 News.

He has watched it grow with more stages, artists, and performances; not to mention 182,000 people attending the first year to now nearly a million.

"In the early years I would always have people come up to me and say 'I've got a concern, I've got a complaint, I've got an idea,' and the past year or two it's been people just coming up and saying thank you."

Parks has countless memories and cherishes the friendships.

"I think the greatest thrill for me is understanding that I was part of a team that created a festival that has created so many memories for so many individuals and families," he said.

He admits he is looking forward to coming back next year without the stresses of his position. Parks said he was never really able to sit down and enjoy a concert.

He said, "I'll be able to come as a patron and as a volunteer next year and enjoy it."