Trekkers’ seventh annual Trekkapalooza is set for Saturday, Jan. 7 at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St. Doors for the chem-free, all-ages event will open 6:30 p.m. and the battle of the bands will begin at 7 p.m.

As always, Trekkapalooza features an eclectic mix of musical acts. Seven bands will compete for the title of Best Bus Band 2012. Tickets are $12 in advance and will be $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the Trekkers office on Buttermilk Lane, Thomaston; and at Oceanside High School, both East (Rockland) and West (Thomaston) campuses. Tickets can be reserved by calling 594-5095.

The Orono-based Chaos Sauce has its roots in the former Waiting on Ian and plays rock, funk and progressive. Bandmembers Ned Rich, Elias Edwards-Jenks, Thomas Meehan, Ian Cook and Peter Griffith can get pretty wild, musically and performance-wise, which makes them audience favorites wherever they play.

Waldo County’s Juke Rockets Blues Band features Steve Mellow on bass; Bob Strusz and Tim Woitowitz on guitar; and vocalist Carlene Thornton. Fresh off a Dec. 30 gig at Hollywood Slots, they should bring a well seasoned edge to the competition.

Much younger but still with several years of performance experience to its credit is Sideways Highways, a Rockland-area high-energy quartet with roots in rock, blues and funk whose performers have played previous Trekkapaloozas and the North Atlantic Blues Festival club crawl. Sideways Highways features Aaron Clarke on guitar, Cole Barbour on guitar, Dave Butler on bass and Case Raymond on drums.

Trekkers Program Coordinator Brandon Caron went to school at Eastern Connecticut State University and played rugby with the drummer from The Educators, who will make the trip north for Trekkapalooza. Making their second appearance for the competition is brand-new The Fall that Never Ends, offering soothing vocals by Megan Rickard and Josh Bedell and a riveting bass courtesy of Henry Hunt.

Speaking of educators, a bunch banded together a couple of years ago to form Just Teachers, an adult alternative/top 40ish outfit featuring John Dow, Ian McKenzie, Matt Smith, Nick “Blaza Blaze” Blais and Adam Bullard. Rounding out this year’s competition will be Downtown Antonio Brown.

To learn more about Trekkers, visit trekkersonline.com.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by