Wooster Arts Jazz Festival has residents dancing in the streets

September 23, 2013 by  

Wooster residents enjoyed the 10th annual Wooster Arts Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 14, taking in the music and visiting artisans and craftspeople to buy their goods.

Among the musicians was the River City Jazz Band, which literally had people dancing in the streets; something at least one resident said she had never done before. She said the music seemed to be everywhere, and drew people to the venue like a magnet.

The day’s highlights included free projects for children, including decorating umbrellas and making puppets and rain sticks. Volunteers, who numbered between 50 and 60, helped with the entire festival, and were instrumental in distributing supplies to the children to use in decorating various items. According to a former preschool teacher, Gretchen Tefs, the neat piles of accessories became a little more disorganized as the day went on, as the children moved them according to the project on which they were working.

Kim Waitkunas, a Wooster resident, along with her three grandchildren and others, decorated umbrellas to be carried in a parade of musicians and visitors around Wooster’s main square. Waitkunas has brought the children for several years running, and she is particularly appreciative of the fact that the festival gives children the chance to hear jazz played live by a number of different groups.

The entire town seems energized by the festival, which is a fundraiser for arts education programs and other causes. Festival organizers could work with a banner printing company to create pennants to add to next year’s celebration.