You likely fall into one of two camps regarding the Chatham Arts Council’s ClydeFEST celebration:
Camp One: ”Been there. Got the t-shirt. We haven’t missed it this year, have we?!?!”
Camp Two: ”Um… What’s a ClydeFEST?”
Well, we’re tickled to say that 2015 ‘FEST will re-inspire old hats and make believers out of new caps!
What the Parents Say about ClydeFEST
ClydeFEST is one of THE most unique kids’ festivals anywhere. But you don’t have to believe us. Listen to what Chad, parent of a 10-year-old and a 6-month-old, said about the 2014 ’FEST, “I love how open it is. So great for the kids to run around and get messy. This is a kids’ festival that’s actually designed for kids!”
And our Executive Director Cheryl Chamblee tells us her 3-year-old is already getting excited about a return visit to ClydeFEST. Cheryl talks about it from the parent perspective, too: “I’ve never been to another kids’ festival like this one. All these kiddos have tons of space and creative things to do–no TVs or IPads in sight for a few hours. It’s totally safe for a little free-range roaming inside the ballfield, and I love that–except for the food–parents get to pay one price at the door and then the kids can do anything they see without plunking down extra bucks.”
Fourteen Years Old and Getting Better All the Time
Over its 14-year history, ClydeFEST, the kids carnival of folk art fun that celebrates local folk artist Clyde Jones, has grown in lots of ways. The beloved Bynum Ballfield became its home a few years ago, and artist Stephan Meyers took ClydeFEST to a whole new level when he dreamed up, designed, and built a whole slew of original kids’ games based on Clyde’s folk art. In recent years, we’ve added advance ticket sale options to reduce long lines for the littles–and you can pay with a credit card at the gate now, too!
This year, ClydeFEST has lots of new offerings mixed in with those all-time favorites, so whether you’ve been every year since your high-schooler learned to walk or you’ve never heard of this amazing fete, you’re bound to have a fantastic time!
Okay, So What Do You Do There?
Let’s go back to the parents for this one: Dorothy, a parent of a 7-year-old recounted her daughter’s 2014 ClydeFEST experience, “She painted a critter, built a fairy castle out of wood and rocks, made a cloth bag, got her face painted, and learned how to hold a violin. Really, this was an awesome day for her!” So…
Games…Of course, there are those Stephan-Meyers-orignal games. All games are free once you’re inside the ballfield, and they’re designed especially for the preschool and elementary school set (though a grown-up or two has been known to have some fun with them!). Mailbox Madness, Foul Shot, Tic-Tac-Tire, Bubble Trouble, Fishin’ Hole, Froggie Jump, Critter Putt…
Art-makin’…Tons of creativity. Hands-on stuff. We’ll have a bounty of booths from local clubs, schools, and agencies, and each one will offer a free kids’ art project. Your kids can create while you get your summer camp info and learn about bee-keeping, the local library, the environment, or cool carnivorous plants (just to name a few!).
Live performances…ClydeFEST has turned into a full-fledged festival with live performances–and a bunch of new faces this year. We dare you to sit still with this year’s line-up:
- 11:00 – 11:30: Tommy Edwards and LaNelle Davis, our beloved young-at-heart bluegrass masters
- 11:30 – 12:00: Eliana Planer, a young singer-songwriter on guitar
- 12:00 – 12:30: Pitch Please, the award-winning Northwood High School a cappella group
- 12:30 – 1:00: Kidznotes, changing children’s lives through training on stringed instruments
- 1:00 – 1:30: Bouncing Bulldogs, high-energy rope-jumping youngsters who excel in every way
- 1:30 – 2:00: Pittsboro Youth Theater, drama school for kiddos in grades 4-8
- 2:00 – 2:30: Takiri Folklorico Dancers, authentic folk dancing tradition from Columbia, South America
- 2:30 – 3:00: Lang Sisters, the N&O-profiled, teenaged duo playing bluegrass, country, americana
- 3:00: Critter Raffle, Clyde’s critter carving demonstration and auction
And we’ll have storytellers, a balloon artist, and Sisters’ Voices out there, too!
Food…To keep the creative juices flowing, food trucks Bang Bang Banh Mi, Bynum Front Porch, Capp’s APizza, Howard’s Fish Truck, Little Dippers Italian Ice, Small Potatoes, and Triple J Ice Cream will have yummy fuel for sale to young artists on the go and their entourages.
Critter cut-outs…And perhaps the most beloved of all: Critterville! Young artists have grown up collaborating with the festival’s namesake at Critterville, where each child selects one critter cut-out to paint and take home. Every once in a while, Clyde Jones will sign it and give the budding artist receives a genuine (temporary) ClydeFEST tattoo. After all, he says, “It’s all about the children.”
Cool, but I Just Want A Critter
The grand finale is the best of all and won’t ever go out of style, considering you can’t buy a Clyde critter. He doesn’t sell ’em, but you’ll have two chances to snag one at ClydeFEST this year. We’ll have a big ol’ raffle where some lucky soul will win a Clyde critter of their very own. And we’ll all get to gather round while Clyde cranks up his chainsaw, makes some art, and we hold an auction of the newly minted critter. Bring your wallet!
One price gains admission to all the fun inside the gates at the Bynum Ballfield. But bring a little extra for food–and whether you want to add to or start your ClydeFEST T-shirt collection, the adorable “CritterBot” by folk artist Mark May is featured for 2015 and is available in a variety of sizes.
- Go See This: 14th Annual ClydeFEST
- When: Saturday, May 2, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
- Where: Bynum Ball Park (in the mill village of Bynum but the address is 173 Bynum Hill Road, Pittsboro, NC 27312)
- How Much: Free for kids under 3, $3 kids ages 3 to 11, $7 ages 12 and up
- For More Info: www.ChathamArtsCouncil.org / 919-542-0394
- Accessibilty: Accessible parking and facilities
- Kids/Pets: Yes, yes, yes to kids! No pets, please.
- In Case of Rain: Sunday, May 3, 1–5 p.m.
THANKS TO OUR EXCELLENT SPONSORS: Duke Energy • Fig & Honey • Heba Salama Photography • Lesley Landis Designs • WLHC Life 103.1 • Shakori Music Festival • Bold Construction • Bynum Front Porch • Cackalacky • Chatham Homes Realty • Crook’s Corner • Debb Hepp Brand Strategist • Hobbs Architects • New Horizons Trading Company • Oakleaf Restaurant • Weaver Street Realty • B&J Custom Printers • Fiddlehead Farm • Floral Expressions of Chapel Hill • Flyleaf Books • N. Rouse Wilson, III, DDS • Lowe’s Home Improvement • Captain John’s Dockside