The multicultural experience of WorldFest will overtake Nevada County once more this summer with activities and music for the entire family.
The 17th annual California WorldFest takes place today through Sunday at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley and offers as much for children as for adults.
Children can play with organizers on the meadow, attend workshops for preschoolers through teens, create thematic art projects and join the kids’ parade.
The festival was always meant to serve as family-friendly entertainment, said Dan DeWayne, who co-founded the festival with his wife, Christine Myers.
“The kids are the primary thing of it and why it’s so family friendly,” DeWayne said. “Kids are welcome, and they know it.”
“From the very beginning, we considered WorldFest a family event. I’m not just trying to jazz about it, it really is a fantastic part of it,” he said. “The key to making the event feel so friendly and happy is the kids. How can you be mad when you have that bubbling energy around you?”
The festival originated as an idea based on DeWayne’s music festival production involvement with the Strawberry Festival in Yosemite and the Chico World Festival.
The intent was to provide a family-friendly event that represents all different cultures and music of the world.
“Out of that sprang the idea of WorldFest, a way for people to bring everybody, grandma and the kids, and enjoy what’s going on and be introduced to brand new music at the same time and probably go away with something that is a new favorite of yours,” he said.
More than 1,100 musicians asked to perform, making the selection process a heavy task.
“I do all the picking and discover through myself and others great artistry from different cultures and genres,” DeWayne said. “I try to mix and match and surprise people with something they might listen to that might push them into another direction. You become fans of music you may have never heard before.”
Rather than the single-genre focus of many music festivals, WorldFest boasts an eclectic mix of genres for a richer and broader experience, DeWayne said.
“With genre-specific festivals you already know what’s going to be there,” he said.
“With WorldFest, you may have an idea of big stars, but most likely won’t know all the artists, which opens up the opportunity for discovery, which is the real nexus of the festival.”
Arts and crafts will be presented by Shandel Story at the Sugar Pine Lodge where children can create art-themed projects.
The kids’ meadow will include a water slide, volleyball, kiddy pools and other activities open during the day and night.
Various workshops from little one’s yoga, kid’s drumming and hula hooping will also be available, as well as juggling teachers at Games on the Green and a magician to teach special tricks.
Children can also participate in the WorldFest Parade with drummers and musicians who lead the procession in costumes and decorations featuring art from California Kids.
This year’s theme is Tibet and includes rituals by Tibetan Monks, which include traditional dances and 20-foot-long horn-blowing.
The monks will partake in mendicants in the morning, a begging ceremony for those who have taken a vow of poverty, to focus on religious practice and rely on charitable donations to survive.
The monks will also display a sand mandala, a ceremonial project that involves the creation of traditional prescribed iconography that includes geometric shapes and ancient spiritual symbols using colored sand to symbolize reconsecration of the earth and its inhabitants, according to mystical artsoftibet.org.
The eco-oriented banana slug string band, which visits schools to discuss the earth and environment, will also play for the kids and musician, scholar and teacher Khemya MitRahina will also teach West African drum rhythms.
“Kids participate in all kinds of ways,” DeWayne said.
“They’re going to be introduced to new music and performances and food. It’s a great opportunity for them to learn.”
“Kids will make their own costumes, drums and join in and march through the fairgrounds. It’s pretty spectacular,” he said, adding that the children’s activities are part of the festival’s overall message to unify the world through cultural encounters.
“Our take on this world is the more we know about each other, the more we can accept each other and understand cultures.”
For more information, visit http://www.worldfest.net/kids.asp.
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230.