Children’s festival offers world of fun
Posted: October 8, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Parents and children were able to explore the world Saturday at Jim Barnett Park, where 20 countries were represented in the gymnasium at the fourth annual International Children’s Festival.
“It helps [kids] in the classroom, it’s something families can do together for free, and not too many people can go travel the world,” event co-coordinator and City of Winchester marketing director Amy Simmons said.
She added that the parents usually have just as much fun as the kids.
The festival, which was presented in conjunction with the Blue Ridge Kiwanis Club, featured an international food court, cultural music and dancing, educational exhibits, and a mini World Explorer Obstacle Course.
Jacob Loughlin, 12, of Winchester — who played the bagpipes with Winchester Pipes & Drums — said he wears Scottish dress every year at the event.
“I thought it would be fun for all the kids to see the bagpipes heritage and the Scottish heritage,” he said of why he participated. “It was really fun.”
Andrew Jenkins, 10, said he enjoyed the shows at the festival the best. His favorite was the Russian ballet.
“Russia is one of my favorite [countries],” Andrew said. “[I like] the way they talk.”
Kristina Reitnauer brings her 4-year-old to the festival every year because it’s a good activity — and it’s free.
“He just loves playing,” she said, adding that he enjoyed the obstacle course this year.
Luke Rangel, 12, said he heard the festival was fun, and it lived up to his expectations.
“It’s pretty cool to see everybody dressed up,” Luke said. “I like Russia, it’s pretty cool over there, and they’ve got this cool guitar.”
He added that he plans to attend next year.
The festival typically draws about 3,000 people, according to Simmons, and this year’s event was no different.
Next year, the festival will be moved outdoors and will be held June 22 in conjunction with the Winchester Park and Recreation Department’s annual obstacle course event.
— Contact Melissa Boughton at email@example.com