Aquabear Legion pancake breakfast flyer

Local Food, Music Come Together for Aquabear Legion Fundraiser

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An Athens-based Ohio art collective will hold its annual pancake breakfast this weekend, utilizing local food to raise money for local music.

Aquabear Legion was founded in 2004 by Brian Koscho and Todd Jacops — two Lorain natives who now reside in Athens County. Koscho said he came to Athens in 2001 to attend Ohio University and ran in the same circles as Jacops. He said even though they grew up in the same town, it wasn’t until they were both in Athens that they made a connection.

As musicians, the two knew lots of musicians and artists around the state and decided to promote the music and art of Ohio. Koscho said they began bringing Cleveland bands to play in Athens and Athens bands to play in Cleveland. When the legion was first started, Koscho said they began making compilation albums of Ohio musicians to let people know about the musical talent in the Buckeye State.

“We just kind of wanted to connect the dots across Ohio. There are a lot of great bands,” Koscho said.

According to Koscho, the name Aquabear was a random thought that came out of a camping trip with friends. He said that the concept was something that visual artists could have fun with and it was something that was unique.

Aquabear Legion has worked with more than 150 bands and dozens of artists and filmmakers in the state. The collective works to promote and support Ohio musicians by releasing the music compilations, putting on shows and events and covering Ohio music on its website,

For the past eight years, the collective has also organized the Aquabear County Fair, which is a weekend of free live music in Athens. This year’s event will be held Sept. 5-6 at The Union. There will also be live acoustic performances at Haffa’s Records on Sept. 6, beginning at 3 p.m., for the first time.

In order to pay the musicians while making the music free to the public, Aquabear Legion holds an annual pancake breakfast. This year’s breakfast will be held on Sunday from 1-3 p.m. at United Campus Ministry, 18 N. College St.

The breakfast features all local food. The pancakes are made from Shagbark Mill & Seed spelt flour, Snowville Creamery milk and local eggs, and there will be Donkey Coffee all afternoon. Fluff Bakery and Catering is providing treats, Jackie O’s will be offering up homemade bread and Snowville milk and chocolate milk will also be available. Sticky Pete’s Maple Syrup will be used to top the pancakes.

Tickets are $5 in advance or $6 at the door. Children 10 and younger eat free. Advance tickets may be purchased at Haffa’s Records on West Union Street or online at

In addition, Aquabear is offering upgrades and a $1 donation will get you a piece of King Family Farms bacon, some Casa Nueva soysage or an exclusive Pierogi Mountain Aquabluebear pierogi.

“The food is really, really good. It’s a pretty awesome meal and it’s cheaper than what most people spend on brunch on a weekend. It’s one of our favorite days of the year. It’s good food for a good cause,” Koscho said.

Koscho said the main goal of the Aquabear County Fair is to get people to hear Ohio music.

So far, bands from Athens, Columbus, Yellow Springs and Dayton are slated to play at the fair. The shows at The Union are slated to begin at 9 p.m. on Sept. 5 and 8 p.m. on Sept. 6.

Some of those booked to perform at the event include: the D-Rays, WVWhite, The Heartlanders, Speaking Suns, The Summoners, Connections, Hex Nut, The 1984 Draft, Supernobody, Dead Hand of Man, Unmonumental, Weedghost, Joe Anderl and Adam Remnant.

“This all stems from our love of music, playing music and hanging out with fellow musicians,” he said.