Hundreds of excited families and community members crowded San Roque School yesterday, celebrating the third annual Carnival and Music Festival.
According to Kevin Redick, San Roque School’s Director of Development, the festival was created to be a family-friendly event. This year’s celebration expanded from last year and offered a diverse mix of local food, student performances, presentations from local educational centers and carnival games. The festival also featured appearances from student musicians and performers.
“[San Roque School] hosts the festival to bring families in the Santa Barbara community together; it’s as much a community event as it is a school event,” Redick said. “The big difference this year is that there are new attractions and more carnival-esque games.”
Julian Dene, a six-year-old student enrolled in the first grade, attracted a large group of onlookers with his Thriller routine. According to Dene, who has performed at school assemblies in the past, this was his first time performing in front of a big crowd.
“Yeah, I did assemblies, but it’s like 22 people to 103 people out here,” Dene said.
Dene’s Michael Jackson tribute was not the only crowd pleaser, however, as local businesses such as the Santa Barbara Gymnastics Club highlighted their talents as well. Young gymnasts performed national routines for onlookers of all ages.
The carnival also hosted a wide range of local educational groups this year, which Redick said was an attempt to expand the festival and cater to the interests of children. Associations including the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the Ty Warner Sea Center and the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum offered booths teaching children about nature and how to tie nautical knots. Other booths included mini salons that offered face painting, temporary hair dye sprays and arts and crafts stations.
UCSB’s Adventure Programs participated in the festival for the first time, attracting visitors to its booth for excursions up a portable rock climbing wall.
According to Rod Tucknott, Adventure Programs Coordinator, participation in this year’s festival was just one of many steps the program is taking to immerse itself in the Santa Barbara community. Tucknott said that Adventure Programs hopes to participate in similar events in the future in an attempt to familiarize the public with all that the program has to offer adventuresome community members.
“Our involvement with the festival is part of a community outreach effort,” Tucknott said.
Pinkberry, Giovanni’s and Kiwanis BBQ were among the numerous food vendors at the festival, providing treats for hungry attendees as they watched San Roque students showcase their various talents.