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John Talsma, owner of CrazyKat Productions, sets first festival for later in August at the amphitheater

RAMONA MCCALLISTER - John Talsma pauses for a photo in front of the Crooked River Park Amphitheater.

Prineville will be the venue for a comedian show and music festival later this month, complete with a professional comedian, local featured comedians and an assortment of live music.

John Talsma, owner of CrazyKat Productions, started the concept for his new business when he was looking for a venue and opportunity for his comedian brother to perform locally. Rueben Talsma, aka the Meat Man, is an established comedian, and has performed in a number of venues over the past 10 years. His last show was at the Looney Bin in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Rueben was going to go through Prineville to visit his brother, John, on his way from Alaska. The only way to have him stop and perform was to arrange for a venue and date for him to do his show.

John Talsma started by going to a couple of local businesses and asking if they were interested in sponsoring a comedy show for a night.

"The response was really big," said Talsma. "Everywhere I went in town to talk to anybody about this idea, everyone was super excited about it."

He decided to open a legitimate production company to get sponsors from the local community and put on a real show for Prineville.

"That is why we went ahead and pulled the trigger to actually register with the state and open a production company," he added. "We are full-on opening the business up."

In addition, they have plans for three festivals per year in Prineville. Crossroads 2019 Ham and Jam will be the first, and they hope to make it an annual festival.

"Crossroads Pit and Pub in Prineville was a super big part of how this season got started, because if they weren't willing to take a chance on us getting this show off the ground, we wouldn't be here," explained Talsma. "So Crossroads made this possible."

He indicated that he thinks there is a need for more entertainment in the community. A country jam in May is already in the works. The Crawfest will not be happening this year as it was in the past, which has left a big void. Talsma is hoping to fill the void and to create an event in that slot.

Talsma said that they are working with Crook County Parks and Recreation District (CCPRD), since the upcoming venue will be the Crooked River Park Amphitheater off of South Main Street. Currently, the staff from CCPRD are placing new sod in front of the amphitheater, and the sod will have some time to settle before the event.

Talsma used to own Legacy Gaming. Previously, he was a chef. He got burned out in that profession, and eventually found his way to Oregon.

"It's tough to have a small business here. We have got more people moving in, with Facebook and Apple and all the construction," Talsma added. "The town's growing, whether we all like it or not. We might as well shape how it grows ourselves."

In addition to CrazyKat Productions, his family will do a roadside barbecue. During events, they will have the barbecue set up and available. Between events, there will be a roadside stand.

"There are a lot of connections that were made in this community, just because of this event," said Talsma. "Everybody is excited about a comedy show coming here."

He added that if Trace Adkins and Jeff Foxworthy went to Paulina, they could get them here eventually.

To open the Crossroads Ham and Jam, a feature comedian from the area will open the program. Katy Ipock, a DJ from 93.7 KURT, will be part of the show. The radio station 93.7 will also have a live feed on Friday with DJ Nick Alias.

Ipock also owns a production company in Bend. They put on open mic nights at Craft Kitchen and Brewery, and host comedians and performances each Tuesday night.

Cole Robeson will be the feature comedian. The Highway 97 Band, a classic rock cover band will open the event with classic rock mainstream music. The comedy show will follow, and Open Defiance, a metal band, will close the show.

There will also be an auction during the event, immediately following the comedy act between 8 and 8:30. p.m. Mrs. Bend, Tiffany Gidley, will be presenting the items for the auction. The proceeds will go to the ADA accessibility portion that surrounds the Splash Park at Stryker Field.

He said they set it up with this format to offer something for everyone.

"We have a little best of both worlds, and people can come and enjoy the whole thing of course."

Sidebar

Crazy Kat Productions

Contact: John Talsma

Phone: 541-788-0989

Website: Crazykatpro.com

Email: ogfatninja.gmail.com

Crossroads 2019 Ham and Jam

At Crooked River Park Amphitheater

August 23 Gates open at 4 p.m., show begins at 5:45 p.m. and closing at 10:30 p.m. Stop serving at 11 p.m.

Aug. 23 and 24 begin serving at 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for vendors. Gates open at 4 p.m. Show begins at 5:45 p.m. Stop serving at 11 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at CrazyKatpro.com

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