KidsFest returns for day two at AthFest | Athfest
The echoes of children’s laughter filled the thick, damp air on Saturday morning, June 25. Cheerful sounds danced through bouncy houses, water slides and amusement park rides on day two of KidsFest at the 2022 AthFest Music and Arts Festival.
Hundreds of people fill the block where East Washington Street meets West Washington Street for a family event all ages can enjoy.
The Home Depot held a DIY-style children’s workshop, where parents helped their children build small wooden objects, such as a race car. Hobby builders used hammers, small nails, and a handy little guide to create their pieces.
Caty Delaigle, a mother in attendance overseeing the construction of a small wooden racing car by her 4-year-old son, expressed how grateful she was that KidsFest was there and free for everyone. Her son enjoyed all the different activities the festival had to offer, and his favorite was the musical instruments.
Through the pounding toddlers, there was a cacophony of musical instruments. The Athens Regional Library System had ukuleles and small drums for children to test and expand their experience with musical instruments. The table also contained coloring pages and crayons for the children to express their artistic visions.
At around 10:30 a.m. the stage opened and the first performances were of Allegro: Lively Music for Children, whose band opened the stage and played fun music for attendees to enjoy with their children.
Next up at 11:30 a.m. was Camp Amped, a Nuçi’s Space nonprofit that advocates for mental health. Several groups made up of teenagers took the stage and all sang covers and presented their progress as a group. These bands played mostly indie pop and popular covers such as “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac.
On the other side of the stage was a Kona Ice truck and a King of Pops booth providing attendees with cold treats to cool off while enjoying the festival. Sticky hands, empty cups and Popsicle sticks dotted the crowd as smiling children watched the performance.
KidsFest volunteer Ralph Stephens, who had volunteered for nearly every AthFest except for the years it was canceled due to covid, said his favorite part of volunteering was seeing all the kids happy to get together.
The next performers were girls from the Carpenter School of Irish Dance, who had the audience applauding to the rhythm of energetic Irish jigs. Using both push-ups and hard shoes, a variety of speeds and techniques were demonstrated by the young dancers.
After them was Evergreen, a teenage band that played indie rock covers of songs like Weezer’s “The Good Life.” Then come Strength Dance Academy and Mack2Tone.
Mack2Tone, a local Athenian who just graduated to pursue music, was grateful for the chance to perform at KidsFest, and AthFest in general, for the first time. “I appreciate everyone coming out and showing love, it was super genuine,” Mack2Tone said.
The World Dreamers were next – and by far a crowd favourite.
From the Full Moon School of Music, this group of young artists took the stage and covered classic songs that the crowd raved about. The B-52s’ “Love Shack” captured the attention of festival-goers from all over the neighborhood, and soon the stage was surrounded by a crowd of people smiling and singing the familiar, classic Athens song.
The last performance of the evening around 5:45 p.m. was by Oconee Music which also featured young solo artists with vocal and guitar covers, and with the strumming of a guitar the curtain closed on the second day. of KidsFest.