Officials at Walnut Valley Association have announced that this year’s Walnut Valley Festival will feature a new experience designed specifically for kids.

Dubbed the Feisty Music Camp for Kids, the two-day event will give children a chance to take part in hands-on, music-related crafts, workshops and concerts.

The festival, set for Sept. 12-16 in Winfield, draws between 10,000 and 15,000 to celebrate a blend of all kinds of acoustic music, including bluegrass, folk, Americana, a little bit of cowboy, some Celtic, blues, jazz and swing, and more.

Music camp co-directors Erin Mae Lewis and Peter Thomas Lague will be organizing and operating the camp, and both have a wealth of experience.

Lewis has brought American music education into public schools, home school co-ops, libraries, churches, foster-care programs and summer camps. An accomplished musician, she won the national Mountain Dulcimer Championship in 2004 at Winfield. She went on to study classical piano at Sterling College before pursuing a degree in commercial music, with an emphasis in bluegrass and acoustic jazz, through South Plains College in Texas. After graduation, she began touring full-time as part of the duo Scenic Roots.

Lague, an artist and educator specializing in murals, ceramics painting and many other media, has partnered creatively with Lewis while organizing the Americana Music Academy in Lawrence. In Operation Clean Slate, he worked with kids across California to bring color and positive messages to graffiti-prone areas through the painting of murals. Lague will be taking on a mural project as part of Feisty Music Camp this year.

“Peter and I are really excited to be involved in this project at this year’s Festival,” Lewis said. “And I am so thankful to the artists who have agreed to come to the music camp and spend some time with us: Andy May, Betse & Clark, Linda Tilton, Opal Agafia, Aaron Fowler, Ann Zimmerman — really, some amazing musicians — and I think kids and adults alike will really enjoy the activities.”

Stage 6, a campground stage that has been host to some of the best players in the world at its legendary all-night jam sessions through the years, has agreed to host the kids’ music camp from 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 14-15.

Festival organizers have stressed that parents or guardians are expected to remain onsite to observe the excitement first-hand. The camp will welcome children from preschool through sixth grade.

To preregister for the camp, visit wvfest.com/kids or sign up on grounds at the Information Booth. Space is limited; walk-ins will be welcomed until sessions are full. The cost for each child is $5, which includes access to one or all 16 half-hour sessions during the two days.

“Walnut Valley Festival has always prided itself on being a family-friendly festival. Andy May’s Acoustic Kids have been a popular part of our on-stage programing, and we think this camp will be a nice complement to Andy’s efforts,” said WVA media director Rex Flottman. “And of course, we are very lucky to have two people who have been to our festival many times and expressed an interest in starting this project.”

Feisty music camp schedule

From 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14

• 12:45 to 1 p.m. — Carp Camp Parade from Information Booth to Stage VI

• 1 to 1:30 p.m. — Sing-a-longs with Scenic Roots

• 1:30 to 2 p.m. — Make & Take Instruments OR Mural Painting

• 2 to 2:30 p.m. — Acoustic Kids Workshop with Andy May

• 2:30 to 3 p.m. — Deering Banjo Bonanza

• 3 to 3:30 p.m. — Mural Painting with Peter Lague

• 3:30 to 4 p.m. — Square Dance with Betse & Clarke

• 4 to 4:30 p.m. — Instrument Petting Zoo

• 4:30 to 5 p.m. — Opal Agafia kids concert

From 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15

• 12:45 to 1 p.m. — Carp Camp Parade from Information Booth to Stage VI

• 1 to 1:30 p.m. — Sing-a-longs with Erin Mae & Friends

• 1:30 to 2 p.m. — Make & Take Instruments OR Mural Painting

• 2 to 2:30 p.m. — Song & Sign with Linda Tilton

• 2:30 to 3 p.m. — Mountain Dulcimer playing with Erin Mae

• 3 to 3:30 p.m. — Mural Painting with Peter Lague

• 3:30 to 4 p.m. — Square Dance

• 4 to 4:30 p.m. — Songwriting with Aaron Fowler

• 4:30 to 5 p.m. — Ann Zimmerman kids concert

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