More than 16,000 children from schools across Minnesota and western Wisconsin attend international performances, participate in hands-on activities and engage in artist workshops throughout the week during School Days (May 27-30).
During Family Weekend (May 31-June 1), professional artist groups whose works transcend boundaries – Step Afrika! (Ordway Music Theater), De Temps Antan (The Lab Theater), Flying Foot Forum (The Lehr Theater) and Terrapin Puppet Theatre (Weyerheuser Auditorium) will perform — for only $5 a ticket. Family Weekend also features free outdoor stages and activities in the parks including international cuisine, pop-up performances and more.
This year's featured outdoor highlight is Cirque Mechanics' Gantry Bike, a giant, self-contained circus spectacular. Designed to amaze and powered by bicycles, Cirque Mechanics' defining mechanical gizmo is a 20-foot, baroque lattice on which aerialists, contortionists and acrobats put on awe-inspiring performances for the crowd, all while two drivers pedal the whole magnificent machine through the Festival grounds.
Throughout School Days and Family Weekend, the Clear Channel ARTwalk celebrates young artists' creativity. In the professionally-curated exhibition, more than 600 visual art projects from Minnesota's talented students appear in windows of downtown Saint Paul businesses.
A new Family Weekend feature adds local youth performing groups to the free performance schedule, celebrating the diversity of the region and representing cultural traditions from Vietnam, Ukraine, Puerto Rico, Laos, Ireland, Mexico, China, India – and more.
"More than 50,000 people attend the Ordway's Flint Hills International Children's Festival," says Dayna Martinez, artistic director of world music, dance and international children's festival programming at the Ordway. "Each year we think, we can't top this. But this festival's lineup is awesome!"
General admission tickets can be purchased ahead of time through the Ordway ticket office and online at http://www.ordway.org/festival.