ST. JOSEPH -- Live Music, food, drinks, and friendship was how Jugfest kicked off their ninth year at Millstream Park in St. Joseph yesterday (Saturday).

Jugfest is a festival that was started by two friends Ryan Heitland and Jon Schulte. You might wonder why its called Jugfest? Well the festival actually gets its name from a jug that Heitland found by a dumpster and decided to keep it to collect change.

After always having friends over for a party, Heitland and Schulte asked their friends to donate change or whatever they had in the jug. They eventually saved up enough money that they threw a party one year. When the party attracted a lot of people they decided to do it again until it became too small to host in their home so they moved it to Millstream Park in St. Joseph.

"Every time people come for the first time they usually end up coming back the next year" says Schulte.

Jugfest is free and open to everyone.  The jug is always there for anyone to donate but its not required. One thing about Jugfest that still  hasn't changed is their motto of  friendship.

"We like to say fill the jug with friendship that's kind of the idea behind the friendship we're all working together. Our motto is friendship the ship that never sinks" says Schulte.

Besides forming and making new friendships the group also gives a chance for local bands and artist to come and play. One of the many few artist that was there was Aisle Krafnick a solo artist that has been coming to Jugfest for two years.

"It really makes me happy that all these people keep coming back year after year to support local music and friendship" says Krafnick.

Krafnick, Feral Dogs, Dirty Mercury, Oh so Easy, Pansy Blue Rebellion, Whiskey City Tango, Tone Deaf Annie's, The Darners, Teddy Bear Skin, John Larson, and Gibby Hibbies were a list of the local bands that played.

And if your a long time comer of Jugfest one thing you might have noticed was the event was held for two days and the organization Operation Baby New Year was there collecting diapers for families in need.

Operation Baby New Year organizer Justin Michael says in a time where the world seems so dark Jugfest and helping families in need is a beautiful combination and he's glad Jugfest was able  to let his organization close out their diaper drive for the summer.

"It means a lot to me because it means a lot to these families. I think that diapers are kind of an invisible issue for a lot of folks, they are very expensive so we are happy to be providing a very basic need" says Michael

If you're thinking this is something that might be interesting to attend no worries Jugfest will back next year and they plan to keep the festival as free as possible so you never have to break the wallet.

If you can't wait that long check out Jugfest's Facebook page to see all the latest things they're up to.

Rebecca David, WJON