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MailTribune.com
  • Kidding around, with a purpose

    Lego-building and construction of straw rockets add new educational elements to the Children's Festival in Jacksonville
  • JACKSONVILLE — Methodically placing together yellow, red and blue Lego pieces Saturday afternoon, 5-year-old Ronnie Fumasi built a small sculpture to contribute to the community Lego Build booth at this year's Children's Festival.
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    • The Children's Festival continues today
      WHAT: 48th annual Storytelling Guild Children's Festival
      WHERE: Britt Festival Grounds, South Fir Street, Jacksonville
      WHEN: 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. today and 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday
      COST...
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      The Children's Festival continues today
      WHAT: 48th annual Storytelling Guild Children's Festival

      WHERE: Britt Festival Grounds, South Fir Street, Jacksonville

      WHEN: 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. today and 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday

      COST: $3 per person

      For more information about the Children's Festival, see www.storytellingguild.org.
  • JACKSONVILLE — Methodically placing together yellow, red and blue Lego pieces Saturday afternoon, 5-year-old Ronnie Fumasi built a small sculpture to contribute to the community Lego Build booth at this year's Children's Festival.
    Nearby, his grandmother Pat Fumasi and his 3-year-old sister Reanna Fumasi were looking over Lego structures and vehicles others have built.
    "See all the things people can build; you can build something too," said Pat, who was at the festival for the first time.
    The Lego Build Booth is one of 35 arts and crafts booths operating through Monday at the 48th annual Storytelling Guild Children's Festival on the Britt Festival Grounds in Jacksonville.
    The quaint, magical festival welcomes people of all ages for a $3 admission charge, which earns attendees the opportunity to create crafts and participate in activities such as candle-making, pottery, woodworking and face-painting.
    "I grew up in the valley and remember coming here when I was a kid," said Jamie Cope, a mother of two boys from Talent. "And then we've taken these guys since they were young."
    Cope and her sons Leo, 7, and Asa, 5, said their favorite activity so far on Saturday was the face-painting booth.
    The festival includes a full performance schedule on the Britt stage, with dancing, music and martial arts performances.
    As many as 10,000 people are expected to attend the festival during one of its three sessions, said Lona Dillard, a festival organizer.
    Dillard said that new this year to the Children's Festival are the Squishy Circuits in Science booth and the building of straw rockets, in addition to the community Lego build, where attendees are able to bring a Lego with their name on it to add to the sculpture.
    "The kids absolutely love it, and they go from one thing to the next," said Jane Piper of Grants Pass, who brought her twin grandsons to the community Lego build booth.
    "We look on the map and then decide where to go, but we always get sidetracked," she said.
    Megan Stillwell, of Medford, said she had brought her two children to the festival for about eight years.
    "It's a great opportunity for the community — it's lots of enrichment for our kids, and lots of fun," said Stillwell, whose daughter, Kate, 9, is performing as part of a singing company during the festival.
    Less than an hour into Saturday afternoon's opening session, Stillwell's daughter had already made her way through a couple of activities, while her son Noah, 9, volunteered at the Clay Fun booth, where children are given a ball of clay and access to sculpting tools and cookie cutters.
    "We're kind of just making the rounds from the tie-dye, and now we're going to do nature craft next," said Stillwell.
    Teresa Ristow is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email her at teresa.ristow@gmail.com.
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