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DDA offering Free Family Zone Saturday

From noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Alpena DDA will be hosting a free Family Zone at the Alpena Blues Festival, just outside the main festival area in front of the State Theater on 2nd Avenue.

The area will have free activities for people of all ages. The DDA will be partnering with community organizations to offer the following activities:

ı 12:30 p.m.– ArtPOP with Art in the Loft, featuring a free, hands-on art activity

ı 1:30 p.m.– Storytime with Justin Christensen-Cooper and Griffin James

ı 2:30 p.m.– Kid’s Dance Class with Thunder Bay Theatre

Throughout the afternoon, there will be ongoing activities including a sidewalk chalk area, bubbles, a sandbox area, and a special collaborative graffiti wall. The graffiti wall will be hosted by the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library through a grant they received from the Michigan Humanities Council through the Third Coast Conversations. When adding to the graffiti wall, they ask participants to weigh in on and draw inspiration from the theme of water: what it means to us and our community.

A second collaborative art project will be taking place in the Family Zone in partnership with the Alpena Blues Coalition, whose initiative “Stamp Out Hunger” seeks to address hunger in our community. For either a cash donation or donation of canned goods, participants can paint a paper plate, symbolizing filling the plate of someone in need. Decorated paper plates will be on display for the duration of the Family Zone and then at Art in the Loft to visually showcase the amount of plates filled by the generosity of our community at the blues festival this year.

“The DDA is excited that the blues festival will be moving to downtown Alpena this year and adding a new craft spirits component with the Fresh Palate,” said Alpena DDA Executive Director Anne Gentry. “By partnering with both organizations and adding a free family zone, we will encourage more people to come downtown, join in the festival, and celebrate what the blues festival means to our community.”