Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church of New Paltz held a family music festival last Saturday, May 2 on the lawn outside the church on Route 32. All admission proceeds from this inaugural event benefited Crossroads Springs Africa, Inc., an orphanage and school in Kenya for children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS.
Music at the festival was provided by entertainers who donated their time: Dog On Fleas, Fuzzy Lollipop, Bright the Day and storyteller and puppeteer Grian MacGregor and the Ivy Vine Players. Also performing was Betty Boomer of Betty and the Baby Boomers, who as a naturalist brought some tanks of frogs and polliwogs to demonstrate for kids the life cycle of a toad.
Vegetarian chili and organic hot dogs were available for purchase. Free popcorn and cookies were provided by volunteers. For photo-taking fun there was a crescent moon one could sit on against a dark backdrop, where a photo taken would look like the subject was sitting on the moon.
There were craft activities for kids and an old spinning wheel set up for them to pretend they were “spinning straw into gold.” Some real spinning of wool was being done by Julie Arnold of the Maple Ridge Bruderhof Community of Ulster Park. With practiced hands, she spun some naturally colored brown wool roving into single strands of thread on bobbins that she will later combine and spin into two- or three-ply yarn.
Overall, the event was a mellow and peaceful affair on a bright, sunny day. “This year is about planting the seed for it to happen on an annual basis,” said pastor Tobias Anderson. While the music festival may grow in time, he explained, the purpose was to create a low-key afternoon event for families of all kinds to enjoy together.
“We’re hoping it’s just enough and not too much,” he said. “We want people to leave feeling energized, not exhausted.”