WorldFest is great fun for the whole family

California WorldFest is coming to the Nevada County Fairgrounds July 12-15, 2018, and there is a world of fun for all ages.  Instead of hiring a babysitter, bring the kids along for a wonderful way to experience cultures from around the world as a family.  Whether you have toddlers or teens (or both) there is sure to be something to keep your kids of any age engaged and entertained throughout the festival.

Kids Passport

When you enter the gates at WorldFest, make sure to pick up the kids passport!  They can take that to check in at all the important places like the first aid station, lost parents tent, and  fun places like the art building, games on the green, etc. to get stickers on their passport.  Then, the can bring their completed passport to the Get Centered tent for cool prizes like temporary tattoos and coupons for discounts on popular kid items like kettle corn.

Performances that Kids will Love

The Banana Slug String Band (Friday 10 a.m., and Saturday 2 p.m.) has been playing music for kids for over 30 years. They’ve played in 40 states and five countries for an audience of more than two million people. The band has released 11 award winning CDs, playing noted festivals such as New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest, High Sierra Music Festival, and their home festival – Strawberry Music Fest (which they’ve played nearly 40 times!) As educators and eco-warriors, their music is used in school curricula and classrooms around the world.

Their live show is legendary and includes characters such as the Professor, Doug the Drop, Peter the Penguin, Mr. Dirt the puppet, Louie the Crab, and Big Red, the talking Redwood Tree. These characters come out in full body costume to the amazement of all. The songs are all original, and played in a variety of catchy musical styles…from folk to blues to reggae, rock and roll and rap. The songs are educational, funny and deeply moving. Kids come away inspired and ready to learn more about the Earth.

Joe Craven & The Sometimers (Friday 11:30 a.m., and Saturday 11:30 a.m.) featuring Bruce MacMillan and Jonathan Stoyanoff, is a tight, crisp “Free Range Folkasaurus Trio” offering a “no genre left behind” policy of music making and re-creating.  Joining the trio at WorldFest will be drummer Barry Eldridge and backup vocalist Hattie Craven.

Joe Craven is not just an entertaining musician with a penchant for the mischievous, he is a teacher and student all at once and he will draw you into his performance by including you as though you’re part of the show itself. His gift of gab is unprecedented and his musical knowledge impressive. Joe’s openness and expression of gratitude for the gifts he’s acquired make it all the more fun for him to share them with his audience. Be sure to check out his workshop at noon on Sunday 7/15 in the Ponderosa Classroom-a “come as you are”class that provides exercises and opportunities to play with others in new ways.

Games on the Green

Knowing that kids love to boogie, but can only be entertained by that for so long, California WorldFest offers Games on the Green, which is located right next to the evening Meadow Stage so that parents and guardians can enjoy the show while the kids play to their hearts’ content (and wear themselves out!)

New this year will be “giant games” like Giant Dominos and a Giant Slingshot, which are sure to be big hits at this popular attraction for the WorldFest youth.  Besides those, kids can enjoy playing instruments at the musical wall, hear stories from the Story Club of Nevada County at the Tree of Knowledge, toss bean bags and beach balls, master the hoola-hoop,  try the neon ring toss, and more.  There is a special Toddler Corner, as well with wooden car tracks, a balance beam, and an outdoor lounge, and of course the littles are always welcome to play with the bigger kids.  There are absolutely no vendors on the Green; this is an area strictly to delight and entertain the kids.

Bia Edwards, NorCal Curumim’s founder who has dedicated her life to educating children in percussion, dance and Brazilian folklore, will be offering Brazilian Inspired Games on the Green. NorCal Curumim’s sole purpose is to bring unity by serving the community with an array of children and adults classes in Brazilian arts.

Kid Friendly Workshops!

An array of workshops are available throughout WorldFest including specially designed little one’s yoga, all age kids drumming, and the whirlwind of hula hooping.  Children are welcome at any of the music workshops or jam sessions during WorldFest, as well.  Because we are all one community, no matter what age.  Some of the great workshops geared toward kids include:

Storytelling with Izzi Tooinsky – Friday, July 13 10-11 a.m., Saturday, July 14 10-11 a.m., 2-3 p.m., Sunday July 15 10-11 a.m., 2-3 p.m. – Kids Craft

Izzi Tooinsky, The Wild Man, is a unique vaudevillian entertainer who has been performing at fairs, festivals, schools, and museums since the dawn of time. The Wild Man is a juggler, clown, comedian, storyteller, and educator. He is the author of two books, creator of 7 storytelling CDs, father of two wild women and has performed in 17 countries around the world.

Card Trick Workshop with Merloch – Timing TBD – Teen Scene

Be the life of the party! Impress your friends! Learn real card magic tricks with Merloch the Magician.

Mélisande [électrotrad] Youth Workshop – Sunday, July 15 2:30pm, Welcome Stage

Mélisande and Alexandre, the core duo of Mélisande [électrotrad], offer a workshop of initiation to traditional Quebec music during which they present different musical instruments (guitar, violin, mandolin, harmonica, wooden flute, jaw harps) as well as the main types of dance music (reels, jigs, waltz). The duo also presents different kinds of traditional French-language songs (call and response, enumerative, laments, mouth music) and teaches children to stomp (foot percussion). Additionally, Mélisande and Alexandre introduce kids to beat making and electronic instruments that they use to create their [électrotrad] project. The workshop is educational, fun and participatory for all ages.

California Kids Arts & Crafts

Children of all ages are encouraged to head to the Sugar Pine Lodge to create works of art.  Each year the arts and crafts center around a different theme that carries on to the parade, and this year’s theme is New Orleans Mardi Gras!  Everyone leaves with WorldFest art treasures to remind them of the festival all year long, as well as props for the WorldFest parade.

The Parade

The WorldFest Parade is an epic event for children of every age, and the highlight of the festival for many of the little ones. Fabulous drummers and music makers lead the procession of costumed, decorated and excited revelry, highlighted by the art created at California Kids. The drummer’s jam at the end of the parade features an all ages dance circle of whirling bodies, stilt walkers, teens, jugglers and the young at heart!

Camping at WorldFest

Camping is a part of the fun of WorldFest, and this year you can purchase luxury showers, which might come in handy after a day of playing, dancing, and fun in the sun.  Children 5 and under are free for both ticketing and camping, and campers can come into the gates early to set up chairs on the Meadow.  There will be a 24-hour quiet zone marked off within the campground to make sure there is a family friendly and sleep friendly area, with a great place to go at naptime.

Global Indigenous Peoples Village

The Global Indigenous Peoples Village, which this year will celebrate their 10th year at WorldFest, holds a diverse variety of Indigenous Artisans, Musicians, Dancers, Wisdom Keepers, and Workshops to honor the past and recognize the indigenous peoples’ invaluable contribution to humanity’s cultural diversity and heritage.  During the festival, day break will begin with a ceremonial sun welcoming and continue with community gathering all day long.  This is a fun and engaging way to teach kids about native culture and heritage!

Teen Scene

For the “I’m so booooored” group (AKA teens), WorldFest has got just the thing!  The Teen Scene is an area of creativity and fun. This section includes many activities like ping pong, giant jenga, relaxing tents, painting tables, giant corn-hole, musical instruments, flower crowns, tie-dye, juggling, and more! The section is located right next to the Pine Street stage. It is run by a teen for teens, so no one can complain that they “just don’t get it,” because they do, they are one of you! So come on over, listen to great music, relax, have fun, and get creative.  Then, on Saturday night there will be a special Teen Dance for young festival-goers ages 13-21 from 8-9:30 p.m. in the Ponderosa Classroom. Teens are also welcome at the late night consciousdance parties, which will be take place Friday and Saturday nights from 11 p.m.-2 a.m. These will be substance-free events (no drugs or alcohol), so everyone is welcome to dance the night away!  Even better, Late Night is FREE for festival pass holders!

For more information about the great activities and acts awaiting kids of all ages at California WorldFest, visit!

Photos by Alan Sheckter