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Children's Art Festival draws hundreds

October 01, 2000

Children's Art Festival draws hundreds



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer


First the man juggled and then the woman juggled. And then, they ate fire.

Using their quick coordination and smoky tricks, The New World Theater Company of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., captured the attention of more than 1,200 children at Hagerstown's City Park Sunday during the Washington County Arts Council Children's Art Festival.

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The annual event featured free professional stage shows and craft activities for children in preschool through elementary school.

Comfortable temperatures and sunny skies made for a perfect afternoon of painting, beadwork and face painting, said organizer Barbara Spicher.

"We want the kids to have fun with art and spark some enthusiasm for the arts that will last a lifetime, she said.

The festival changes its craft projects every year and has either new performers or repeat performers doing new shows, she said.

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So far the festival has been a hit, she said.

"It keeps growing every year," said Spicher.

Lines, with as many as 40 people in them, could be seen throughout the day at the balloon art stand. Parents and children waited for up to 20 minutes to get a balloon sword or hat. Face painting and tissue paper flowers also were popular.

At the craft tables children got an opportunity to try their hand at fossil rubbings, metal tooling, jig saw puzzles, bead jewelry and print making.

Budding artists got to paint on large cutouts of farm animals.

Zachary Snyder, 8, of Hagerstown celebrated his birthday at City Park Sunday and after cake and candles he set his sights on a balloon sword and face painting.

"This is wonderful. There's so much for them to do," said the boy's mother, Sonnie Snyder.

"Come on, Come on Mom," said Zachary, eager to get started.

Chanda Dobrzanski of Hagerstown brought along her children, Zoe, 6, Andrew, 3, and Portia, two months, and her niece Cara Martin, 11 of Waynesboro, Pa. to enjoy the festival for the first time Sunday.

"I think it's really nice that they have this for the community," she said.

Martin said she enjoyed trying some of the craft tables and watching the featured performers. "I thought it was fun. I liked the jugglers," she said.

Having the festival at City Park was a good idea because it provided a central location and allowed some people to walk there, she said.

"This is really great. There is plenty to do and two separate areas for kids two play, that way you can get away from the crowd," she said.

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