13th ANNUAL GRAND KIDS FEST TO FEATURE NATIONALLY-
AWARD-WINNING CHILDREN’S ENTERTAINERS
The Grand 1894 Opera House’s 13th annual Grand Kids Fest, set for Saturday, April 5, will feature nationally-recognized, award-winning children’s entertainers Brave Combo, Joe McDermott, The Gillette Brothers, and Mariachi MECA. Hosted by and benefiting The Grand 1894 Opera House, this fun family event - a celebration of families and folk arts - will be held from 10am-5pm on Postoffice Street, between 20th and 23rd streets, in historic downtown Galveston. Presented as a celebration of families and folk arts, the festival will feature three entertainment stages, a story-telling tent, an artisans’ tent, and a host of activity booths “guaranteed to spark the imagination and creativity in kids of all ages.” With advanced ticket purchase either by calling The Grand at 800.821.1894, or online purchase at www.thegrand.com, a family of four can attend for just $5.00.
Two-time Grammy Award winner and multi-time Grammy nominee, Brave Combo is nationally recognized as “America’s premier contemporary polka band.” Featuring musicians who sing and play guitar, keyboard, accordion, sax, trumpet, and drums, this group has been performing throughout Texas and the U.S. for almost three decades. Next, Joe McDermott , the Parent’s Choice award-winning songwriter, is a nationally-recognized children’s artist, songwriter, and musician based in Austin.
You can look forward to hearing his award-winning songs “Baby Kangaroo”, “Great Big World”, and “Everywhere You Go.” McDermott’s songs can also be enjoyed on the children’s channel of XM Radio.
Other famous entertainers scheduled to perform this year include The Gillette Brothers and Mariachi MECA. Well-known throughout the country music/cowboy circuit, The Gillette Brothers, two gentlemen who have combined their life-long love for history of the west with an incredible talent for music and poetry, have recorded six albums of traditional cowboy music “interspersed with a few originals.” They have performed at Cowboy Poetry and Music Festivals throughout the United States for the past 25 years.
The Grand Kids Fest will also showcase Mariachi MECA – an ensemble comprised of talented Houston-area high school students, most who are from economically-disadvantaged communities. What started as a small ensemble performing a modest repertoire of three traditional mariachi songs is now a program of approximately 175 youth who have performed for both President Bush and President Clinton, have won first, second, and third place awards at national mariachi contests; and have successfully performed in New York, Mexico, and parts of Europe. Popular returning entertainers include storyteller Shelly Kneupper Tucker and musician and instrument maker Bamboo Steve.
Throughout the day, festival goers can look forward to family-friendly entertainment performed on three outdoor stages, viewing and participating in over fifty (with 85% of these vendors offering free activities) unique booths with hands-on activities for children, as well as the opportunity to participate in children-oriented arts and crafts (sand art, creative coloring, and chalk art creation area). In addition, an Artisan’s Tent will showcase traditional folk craft demonstrations such as quilting and working with clay.
An exotic petting zoo, a Kids Kitchen Band, and the Bubble Pond will round out all there is to see and do. Be sure and come hungry as food booths will offer a variety of fun - but good food - with only non-alcoholic beverages sold.
Picture-perfect photo opportunities will be available with costumed characters from UTMB (Dr. Dolphin, Hooty the Immunization Owl and McGruff the Crime-Fighting Dog), characters from The Rainforest Café, Clowns from the UTMB Caring Clowns Troop, Harmony the Clown with her friend Abby the Monkey, and a magician performing magic from the Healthy Fun tent.
In addition to all of this, an annual highlight of the festival is the production staged by Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT). This year’s show is The Pied Piper. Presented as an original adaptation of the classic children’s tale, the performance will be highlighted with a cast of 50-60 area youth. Show times are 11.00am and 1.30pm and will be presented on stage at The Grand.
Created as an extension to The Grand’s children’s programming and designed to raise an appreciation and awareness of the importance of fine arts for children, the festival is supported locally in part by Kathy G. McGovern, The Jamail Foundation, Comcast Cable, KUHF 88.7FM Radio, The Galveston County Daily News, the Historic Downtown Strand Partnership, and Texas Commission on the Arts. Festival founding sponsors include Mary Ainslie, The Gladys B. Foundation in honor of Robert Richard Thornton, Lawyer; the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund, Bank of America, and the Park Board of Trustees of the City of Galveston.
Additional vendors participating include the Sea Campus Kids from Texas A&M- Galveston, The Lone Star Flight Museum, Moody Gardens, The Children’s Center, Texas Seaport Museum, Galveston Historical Foundation, Child Advocacy Center, Galveston Arts Center, KUHF Radio, the Ocean Star Offshore Energy Center, The Sandman, and UTMB’s Healthy Fun Tent. Area choirs and dance groups will also perform and they include Galveston Ballet, LaMarque’s Westlawn Elementary School Choir, Dickinson’s Bay Area Elementary School Choir, and the Morris 5th Grade Center Trailblazer Choir.
Saturday festival admission is $3.00 for adults; $2.00 for children; free for children 4 years and younger. Half-price advance festival tickets (family four-pack for only $5.00) are available at The Grand’s box office.
For more information about this and other events at The Grand and to purchase advance tickets, call The Grand’s box office at 409-765-1894, 800-821-1894, or online at
. Full-price tickets may be purchased at the festival gates. The Grand 1894 Opera House is located at 2020 Postoffice Street in historic downtown Galveston. The Grand is accessible by trolley. All proceeds from this festival benefit children’s programs at The Grand 1894 Opera House.