MONTCLAIR, NJ - Coachella, the popular annual music and arts festival held in the Colorado Desert offers famous cooks, famous singers, art installations and more. Montclair didn’t want kids to be jealous so there was Kidchella.
The Kids Business Committee of the Montclair Center BID organized a family-centric festival this past Sunday at the Montclair pre-k center on Orange Road, incidentally marking the Pre K’s 20th anniversary.
Maybe not quite the likes of Beyonce, but almost… There was a lineup of live (and lively) music all afternoon. Dozens of vendors congregated and the event was packed beginning to end.
Maryellen Stadtlander had her coffee camper parked inside the lot and people were flocking to it for a dose of good caffeine. She said, “I felt the festival was a success and equally parent and kid-centric.” She added that she hopes it was also a financial success as “The organizers worked really hard and pulled it off despite the rain.”
Admission was free but local vendors were very busy. The line for henna tattoos was so long it seemed not everyone signed up would get a chance to procure the beautiful designs.
The fairy hair was another story. Not only were they unable to meet the demand but the women in the front of the line, who beat the children to the punch, were well into their fifties and sixties.
Local mom Cecile Williams-Yoo said, “To live in this town is to constantly be impressed with what can be done when people work together.”
When asked why she visited the festival she said, “ I really just came for Luna Locks Fairy Hair (because I do that every chance I get) but I stayed for the flower headbands, henna, the DJ and the food!”
Amy Tingle from Creativity Caravan a studio/gallery on South Fullerton Avenue commented, “It was great music. The vendors were all 100% local businesses so I think people really wanted to support because it was a local grassroots kind of thing.”
A steady stream of strollers jammed the walkway as some parents escaped the drizzling rain and others defied it upon entry. Had the day been sunnier the venue may have been insufficient in size.
Tingle whose stand at the festival was a free workshop on making miniature books said she was a bit surprised at how many folks had come out given the weather.
Officers slowly drove by past the line of cars parked in no parking areas and smiled. A driver asked if they were making an exception and an officer replied, “Sure. I’m not really a traffic officer but I’m sure you’re fine.”
Williams-Yoo said she had a great day and complimented the organizers, “Hats off to the Montclair BID and the Montclair Community Pre-K. Apart, they are each driving forces in our town. Together, they organized a truly wonderful event ...!”