The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and Flint Hills Resources announced that the Flint Hills Family Festival will return for its 20th anniversary June 1-12.
This arts event will offer both virtual and in-person outdoor performances and activities for little to no cost for children of all ages and their families.
“When we started planning the first festival more than 20 years ago, we asked ourselves how we can ensure it reaches the largest number of children as possible. Our commitment to accessibility has been a constant ever since,” said Chris Sagstetter, interim president and CEO of the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. “This year’s hybrid virtual and in-person model is a new way we’re delivering on this commitment. For the first time, families from across the state and entire country will be able to experience the magic of the festival from the comfort of their own home.”
The virtual festival will include free pre-recorded performances, activities and workshops available for both schools and families from June 1-12 at FlintHillsFestival.Ordway.org. Featured virtual performers will include past festival favorites such as Dan and Claudia Zanes and Squonk Opera as well as local artists like Native Pride Dancers, House of Dance and more.
Virtual workshops for families include a workshop with Ana Maria Alvarez, the artistic director of CONTRA-TIEMPO Dance Company, at 11 a.m. June 5. The Ordway will also host a virtual ARTwalk where children can submit art online for a chance to have their work featured in the windows of the Ordway.
In addition, the festival will feature socially distanced, outdoor performances from the Grammy Award-winning Okee Dokee Brothers plus Sonia de los Santos live from the Ordway outdoor loading dock. Festival favorite Chicks on Sticks will also be there, as well as a kite display by artist Barbara Meyer. Performances will take place at 6 p.m. June 4, and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. June 5.
Tickets will be $10 per person.
Founded in 2001, the festival is made possible by a 20-year partnership between the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend refinery in Rosemount. It is one of the largest and longest-standing events of its kind in the country. Since its inception approximately 1 million people have attended, including more than 21,000 students and teachers who take field trips each year.
“For two decades, the Flint Hills Family Festival has brought children, families and educators together to celebrate world-class art from Minnesota and across the globe,” said Heather Rein, director of community affairs at the Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend refinery. “We are so proud of everything the festival has accomplished, and are thankful to the Ordway for making this family tradition possible year after year.”
There will also be several virtual opportunities specifically for schools and educators, including a livestream of the Okee Dokee Brothers plus Sonia de los Santos performance on Friday, June 4, that will be available for on-demand viewing June 7-11.