The Heggenes Valley Boys, comprised of Joe Jeszeck, Russel Link, Ed Fickbohm, Kathy Link, Bill Currie and Randy Hudson are crowd favorites at the annual Locals for Local Anniversary Concerts, which are fundraisers for a local artists series at WICA. Photo provided.

The Heggenes Valley Boys, comprised of Joe Jeszeck, Russel Link, Ed Fickbohm, Kathy Link, Bill Currie and Randy Hudson are crowd favorites at the annual Locals for Local Anniversary Concerts, which are fundraisers for a local artists series at WICA. Photo provided.

Locals benefit locals at WICA variety show

Artists step up to bigger stage with fundraising event

Local and maybe loco talent will be on Langley’s premiere stage May 18 and 19 for an annual talent show for adults known for its hometown humor.

The Locals for Locals Anniversary Concert will feature music by Randy Hudson and the Heggenes Valley Boys, Resonance singers and other familiar faces.

Both nights are 7:30 p.m. performances at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. The event is a fundraiser for the Local Artist Series, which makes South Whidbey’s performing arts center accessible to local artists.

For the series, artists apply and are chosen by a community committee. The fundraiser covers artists’ rental fees and the artists receive ticket revenue.

“I started the Locals for Locals Anniversary Concert 18 years ago as a fundraiser for the Local Artist Series — as a way to make a connection with the local artists who felt they could not afford to be at WICA,” said Stacie Burgua, WICA executive director.

Over the years, the Locals for Locals show has become a South Whidbey tradition.

The Heggenes Valley Boys, composed of Joe Jeszeck, Russel Link, Ed Fickbohm, Kathy Link, Bill Currie and Randy Hudson, and the all-female group, Resonance with Claudia Walker, Julie Glover and Mona Reardon, are crowd favorites.

Tom Walker and Tom Fisher, who have performed many years as members of the country comic act, Rural Characters, will also be on hand.

They’ll join Link and Hudson of the Heggenes Valley Boys for a “sidesplitting set of old and new songs dedicated to island life and the craft of humorous songwriting,” stated a WICA press release.

“Of all the programming throughout the years, the Locals for Locals Anniversary Concert and the Local Artist Series speak most clearly to the heart of WICA’s mission,” Burgua said.

“This is the 18th year (of the concert) and my last as the executive director of WICA,” she added. “I am grateful to the Rural Characters, who many years ago offered to help out with the annual concert, and wound up bringing to life everything we love about Whidbey.”

Burgua is retiring in August.

Hudson, who’s been involved in every anniversary show since 2003, thinks it’s remarkable how people have come to look forward to the annual event.

“Folks know what they’re in for and show up cheerful and ready to be entertained,” he said. “There’s nothing like performing to a friendly hometown crowd. The more fun we have the more fun the audience has.”

The non-profit organization Hearts & Hammers, that just held its 25th annual work day, will also receive a special tribute from the Open Circle Singers. Last Saturday, more than 400 volunteers worked in teams at 34 houses and completed a variety of maintenance work, repairs, landscaping and other tasks needed to help elderly and disabled residents remain in their homes.

At the two shows, Greg Garbarino is also slated to debut his 60s rock star persona.

Zech Hall Piano Bar will open one hour prior to the event.

Locals for Locals Concerts: 7:30 p.m. both nights, Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19 at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, 565 Camano Avenue, Langley. All seats $22. Tickets available at WICA box office by phone (360) 221-8268 or online at www. tickets.wicaonline.org. Both shows expected to sell out.

Resonance, with Julie Glover (left), Claudia Walker (center) and Mona Reardon, will sing at the Locals for Locals Anniversary benefit concert 7:30 p.m. May 18 and 19. Photo provided

Resonance, with Julie Glover (left), Claudia Walker (center) and Mona Reardon, will sing at the Locals for Locals Anniversary benefit concert 7:30 p.m. May 18 and 19. Photo provided

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