Fair Weather and Friends
Who’s here? What’s that?
How long can we stay?
Children were yammering these and other pressing questions to their grown-up companions throughout the three-hour Family Fair at Theater Square on July 27. The free event was presented by NJPAC as a community-wide celebration, but the throngs of kids milling about the plaza knew that for at least one afternoon, they were going to be the center of attention.
It’s anyone’s guess how much the sunshine and non-stop busy-ness contributed to tuckering out youngsters by bedtime. Just to watch the energy and excitement was almost exhausting, as toddlers to preteens scrambled from one activity tent to another.
So what was there to do and see? Visitors created patchwork shakers and cave paintings or played a musical instrument (drums won – hands down!). They learned about the nearby Newark Museum and peered closely at that summer sun through a solar telescope. Tiny faces were adorned with elaborate butterflies and animal features at the face-painting tables; topping the look were totally tubular headdresses of braided balloons. There were a couple of circle games: a stilt walker spun a lasso around willing captives and Radio Disney hosted hula-hoop contests.
On the lawn area and dance floor fronting the outdoor stage, the young crowd participated in zumba class, a drumming circle and joyous, impromptu dancing through a sea of soap bubbles. Lending their talents to the performance lineup were three dance companies – Freespace Dance, Roxey Ballet and Umoja Dance Company – as well as the Oasis Youth Steel Pan Ensemble and young vocalists and musicians of NJPAC’s Summer Youth Performance Workshop and Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens.