Sunday 1 April 2012

Excited to be attending the Australian National Folk Festival in Canberra Easter Holiday (Thurs eve through Mon)

No fooling!  I've finally blocked out the time to serve on the volunteer staff full-time at the Australian National Folk Festival here in Canberra at the Epic (fairgrounds) during the holiday next week.  I got matched to work 20 hours with the Kids Festival (see detail below) from Friday through Easter Monday - four hours each day, which allows me to still participate in things happening on Good Friday at both Canberra Baptist Church and also at the Canberra Hospital before the noon hour.

Saturday morning I'm scheduled at Silver Wattle Retreat Centre, a 40-minute drive away to the edge of Lake George, doing a clowning session with the children and an experiential learning workshop for all the participants on the theme of the "Nonviolence of Jesus."  This involves mostly Quaker families/children attending their annual Easter Weekend Family Retreat at Silver Wattle.

Well, a busy but fulfilling weekend is definitely coming up!  I'll be able to take in any performances and activities that I desire at the NFF each day and evening for free - with a pass (arm band) I'll have worth about $300. 

And...there is a LOT more than folk music going on there.  In recent years it has been appealing to all ages; the youth and young adult crowd is rapidly expanding. The full program of this five-day festival - now in its 45th year - includes descriptions of over 200 acts and 1500 performers at 20 stages - lots of stuff happening simultaneously!  Here is a rundown of this year's "Highlights" from Thursday evening through Monday.

A taste of folk - National Folk Festival 2011 from Annette Cohen on Vimeo.
(Click on to view this in a larger format.)

* Here is what I'll be helping kids create during the Kid's Festival (2-hr) Workshops: 

Lanterns - The lanterns will be of simple construction but if kids want to expand on these ideas, then great!!! The lanterns when complete will be kept for the parade. 

Puppets - Kids can make some simple parade puppets that will be used in the festival parade.   Younger kids could make finger and glove puppets and hopefully perform with them at the end of the workshop.

Hats - A range of patterns for hats will be offered from simple bonnets to more elaborate parade hats. 

Tin Whistle - Kids can come along and have a go at learning the Tin Whistle and get a bit of an introduction from a couple of talented musicians.

...or helping to provide safe supervision during their "Free Play!"  The following activities will be set up and kids can come and go as they please exploring and trying the activities on offer.

Box City: For kids of all ages.  A giant city of skyscrapers and towers will be created with cardboard boxes and paint.  The city will be large enough that kids can run around it and sit in the buildings that they have just created.

Jewellery: For kids aged from 5 – 12 yrs.  Kids can make their own necklaces and brooches from plaster moulds that can then be painted and decorated.  Kids will paint and make their own beads from old magazines.

Bandanas: For kids aged 5 – 12 yrs.  Kids can create cool bandanas by using printmaking and drawing techniques.

Weaving: For kids 5 – 12 yrs. By using simple cardboard looms kids can create beautiful mats or scarves.

Play Doh: Kids can create some fun sculptures with the old favourite.

Painting and Drawing: Materials will be available for those who feel the urge and can’t resist a bit of finger painting.

Sand sculptures: Can be created and destroyed and redone using the wonderful materials of sand and water.

I guess you can tell that I'm getting kind of excited!  Carole Anne doesn't seem to be, but that's not my problem - nor does it seem to be hers, either.  She has plenty of other things on her mind.  Oh, well - I plan on reclaiming some of my childhood - at least some of the memories, soaking up the energy, and getting my free spirit all reinvigorated!

I'm also hoping to meet up with some friends I know are coming, and perhaps make some new friends, as well.   I'll find out tomorrow during our staff orientation session if they'll let me pitch my tent at the grounds with the hundreds of others - so I can keep that spot as my "home base" throughout, in the midst of all the coming and going.

As they say in Oz: "Yep, it'll be a rippa!" (ripper)

-Clair de L'uni

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