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Archive for Sunday, June 8, 2008

Wak Fest rocks for kids

Riley Fullerton, 5, of Baldwin City, left, and Rowan Laufer, 7, of Lawrence, work with clay Saturday at the Lawrence Arts Center's tent at the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival at Clinton State Park. The four-day festival, often associated with more adult activities, has many family-friendly options.

Riley Fullerton, 5, of Baldwin City, left, and Rowan Laufer, 7, of Lawrence, work with clay Saturday at the Lawrence Arts Center's tent at the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival at Clinton State Park. The four-day festival, often associated with more adult activities, has many family-friendly options.

June 8, 2008

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The father of Phoenix Smith, 5, of Colorado, bought her an identification tag in case he became separated from her at the festival.

The father of Phoenix Smith, 5, of Colorado, bought her an identification tag in case he became separated from her at the festival.

Past Event
Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival 2008, Day 4

featuring Emmylou Harris / Mickey Hart Band / David Grisman Quintet

  • When: Sunday, June 8, 2008, 10 a.m.
  • Where: Clinton State Park, Clinton Lake, Lawrence
  • Cost: $49 - $469
  • More on this event....

2008 Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival

The fifth annual Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival starts on June 5th and runs through June 8th. Organizers are planning on more than 13,500 guests, which would make Clinton State Park the second-largest city in Douglas County until the festival wraps up. See videos, photo galleries, the Wak Talk blog, Best Bets, and more about the Wakarusa Fest.

Wakarusa Festival 2008

It's safe to say you get out of Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival what you put into it.

If you want the ringing in your ears from standing next to a stage speaker, be your guest.

Without anyone batting an eye you can get as creative and indulgent as you want with the body paints, dancing, performance arts and what have you.

Then there are those who take it a bit easier: the parents and tots.

Increasingly, families are attending the festival, which tries to provide an inviting and friendly atmosphere.

"It doesn't seem strange to have children here," said Zoe Beach, Lawrence retail store owner, as she pushed her 18-month-old son, Mika Seibel, in a stroller. He was asleep with his muddy feet poking out in the sun.

Zoe Beach grew up in Wales going to music festivals with her family, and she was excited to introduce her son to his first.

"He really likes music, he likes to dance," she said. "The music may be a little loud. The thing is you can't be up front."

There was even "a lot of good kids' food around," she said.

Mika had his first veggie corn dog.

The only real concern she and her husband, Ben Seibel, had was about the heat. They took precaution by dressing Mika in clothes to help keep him cool, and their stroller provided plenty of shade.

One father from Colorado took a unique cautionary step to protect his daughter Phoenix, 5, at the festival.

"I got a little nervous traveling without mom so I stopped at a pet store and got her a dog tag with her name and my number on it," said Matt Smith, of Colorado Springs.

"It's been great, a good bonding time," he said.

KT Walsh, Lawrence artist, was one of 15 Lawrence Arts Center volunteers who operated a children's tent at the festival.

"I understand from talking to different people that they've made a real effort to make it family friendly," she said.

At Kids Tent, bands played children's songs, and clay and paints were available for children to make their own creations. Nearby, a bicycle circle also offered invigorating entertainment.

"The bikes are pretty cool," said Will Laufer, 10, who swapped bicycle creations with his younger brother, Rowan Laufer, 7, to try out.

Walsh said the separation of adult-only areas from areas for children and food portion sizes geared to kids make the festival a family-friendly place.

"I think how wonderful it is to grow up and see the music and to be out in the Kansas wind and with friendly people," she said.

Staff writer Sophia Maines contributed to this report.

Comments

MattressMan 5 years, 10 months ago

Just curious b3 or madmike, what type of festival/event would you be willing to take your children to?

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GratefulSistah 5 years, 10 months ago

Music, dancing, splashing in mud puddles, bubbles, hula hoops, kites, glow sticks, happy people everywhere... yeah... sounds like an aweful place to take your kids. Who'd ever want them to have that much fun? As for the drugged out zombie Wooks, they are everywhere, including your very own office building, they may just be better at hiding it. A good parent is a good parent, at Wakarusa or the grocery store. Say what you will, there is nothing in the world more joy filled than a happy, fat naked baby splashing in mud puddles with Mama!

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alm77 5 years, 10 months ago

The obvious trippy hippies I've seen are one big "Don't Do Drugs" advertisement. Maybe not a bad idea to point them out to your children.

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frowniebrown 5 years, 10 months ago

No need to defend yourself terrapin. You don't need to be "sorry to tell" me anything, if you read my sentence correctly- "I don't think it's impossible to take both pets and children to Waka and be a responsible parent/owner."I think we all know that people can be irresponsible parents in any setting, not just festival goers. I know lots of hippie mamas who are fantastic mothers. There is just the undeniable drug culture element that is mixed in with the responsible people. Its just sad to see the bad examples. I've met my fair share of drunken partiers as well as sober, responsible adults at Waka. I enjoy the festival completely sober so I know it can be done. Right on for being a good example.

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thebcman 5 years, 10 months ago

I know Riley's parents, and they are not wretched.hey b3 & madmike :: ignorance is no excuse for stupidity.

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terrapin2 5 years, 10 months ago

The majority of young people may be going to get wasted, but the parents I know that were out there remained sober. I'm sorry to tell you, but it is most definitely possible to be a responsible parent and take your children to an event of this kind. As for the pets, I would agree with you since pets are not allowed on the festival grounds during Waka. Of course, some people sneak them in. Children, however are allowed. We had our kids with us for one of the 3 days and they spent the rest of the time at Grandma's. We had our adult time and were able to stay up later to see some of the late night music, and then we picked up the boys for Sunday. They would have stayed until about 9 and then gone home, but the rain shortened the night for everyone. My husband and older son stayed out there last night and had so much fun camping in the van. I took the 1 year old home after the rain let up a little. There will always be parents that don't care for their children the way you might, but you see that anywhere you go (the park, school, walking downtown, the pool etc...). Irresponsible parenting is not limited to the Waka crowd by any means. There were all kinds of people out there, not just drunken partiers. And no, I am not willing to give up seeing live music outdoors just because I have children. There is nothing irresponsible about that.

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frowniebrown 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm not usually one to be judgemental, but I'll admit that I have seen SOME children at Waka in past years and thought "What are their parents thinking?". The same kind of goes for SOME of the puppies/dogs I've seen...but it is by no means a blanket judgemnet. I don't think it's impossible to take both pets and children to Waka and be a responsible parent/owner. The heat was just so outrageous in 2006 that I got really angry to see pets being left in tents and children riding their bikes around without parental supervision. So, with that said, I still get angry to think that there are people out there who aren't willing to give up that lifestyle when they've got children. And yes, it is much more than a "dope fest" for some people...but I'd say the majority, and I could be wrong about this, go with the intenetion of getting really wasted. That is not to say they don't go for the music and the atmostphere as well. Hopefully that same majority isn't supposed to be responsible for a child or animal when they are enjoying themselves.

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terrapin2 5 years, 10 months ago

Besides the rain, my kids had a fantastic time at Waka this year as they have every year. It is not a dope fest unless that is what YOU want it to be. We are there for the music, being outdoors and having a great time with the entire family. What is the point of posting negative comments on an article that is clearly showing a very positive side of this event. If you don't like it and don't understand it, then don't go, but quit judging people. Did the hail break your glass house? And B3-why don't you just keep your nasty opinions to yourself. Everyone knows you don't like anything or anybody unless they are just like you and everyone knows you have no fun, so you can quit posting anytime. You would have to be a pretty wretched parent to teach your children to hate what they don't understand.

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JMP 5 years, 10 months ago

Madmike and b3: If all you can see is a "dope fest" at this event then you need to open your eyes. I would much rather take my child to a music festival like Wakarusa then a family event in the company of small minded people like you. If your children understand what "dope" actually is, then you're the one with the problem.

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dweezil222 5 years, 10 months ago

While I agree with the points about how Wakarusa is a "dope fest," at least give the festival organizers some credit for trying to make it a more family-friendly event and clean it up a little.

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le 5 years, 10 months ago

Again as you can see ...a test ...to prove beyond a doubt that ljw is not posting my comments..i have been doing this test for a while now with no response..if the posters above had this comment posted on their computer they would certainly comment back at me ...as you will see..their will be no response! sorry judge to have to stoop this low but it is one of a series of tools I am using to prove that ljw is fraudulently making me believe my comments have been posted the last 3 or 4 months..today is 06-08-08

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le 5 years, 10 months ago

b3 & madmike..you two guys fudgepackin butt buddies?

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madmike 5 years, 10 months ago

Yep, yake your kids to a dope fest. Teach them about the drug culture first hand.

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alm77 5 years, 10 months ago

b3, as usual, doesn't know what he's talking about. Our kids went with us 2 year ago for a couple of hours one night and they loved it. So did we.

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b3 5 years, 10 months ago

You would have to be a pretty wretched parent to take your children into that kind of environment.

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