Chatham County's Traditional Music Festival

September 12 - 14, 2024

Kids and Families

Kids 15 & Under Receive Free Admission

Hootenanny Hayrides, Saturday 11am-12:30pm & 1:30-4pm

Photo by Todd E. Gaul

Jump on the tractor wagon and come along with a rotating cast of players on a magical musical hayride across the fields and through the woods. Sing along to the musicians’ lead and keep the bumpity-bumpity rhythm with provided shakers, tambourines and other percussion instruments (or bring your own)!  Rides will run every 30 minutes during scheduled hours.  Meet on the road beside the Kids Tent

Tunes for Kids with Lydia & Emily Martin, Friday 5pm

Lydia and Emily Martin of the Martin Family Band will teach tunes for kids to play together. Bring your instruments for some fun and music! The Martin sisters bring a knowledge-base of traditional Irish and old time repertoire to this relaxed workshop. They have performed across the Atlantic and the United States, teaching classes and playing for dances. Lydia will teach banjo and guitar, and Emily will teach mandolin and lap dulcimer.  There may be loaner instruments available, please contact Lydia with special requests. Recommended for kids 6 & up with some experience. Smaller siblings are welcome to come and play a jug band instrument. Located in the Barn.

Kids Activities Tent, Saturday 10am – 6pm

Crafts and activities to entertain the young ones — open crafts with interesting mediums, canjo-making workshop and more. The tent will be open 10am – 6pm on Saturday and is located in the field below the dance tent, near the main stage.

Kids’ Clogging Workshop with Tampa Enoch-Reese, Saturday 10:30am

Suggested for ages 5 and up, this workshop provides a basic introduction to clogging, just for kids! Participants will learn fundamental clogging steps through fun, confidence-building exercises. They’ll also have opportunities to express themselves creatively with this energetic dance tradition. Comfortable, closed-toe shoes are recommended. Tampa Enoch is an educator, dancer and musician from Mebane, North Carolina. At an early age, she learned to flatfoot and buck dance from her grandmother, and she carries the tradition forward by teaching percussive dance to children both in her family and in the wider community. Tampa has been a member of Chapel Hill’s Cane Creek Cloggers since 2014 and has worked in public libraries as a youth services librarian for 19 years. In her free time she enjoys playing banjo and sharing about the rich and complex history of the instrument.  Located in the Dance Tent.

Songs & Stories with Tim Wells, Saturday 10:15am

Saturday morning at 10:30am in the Kids Tent! Children ages 3 – 5 will love learning new songs, fingerplays, and stories they can re-visit at home. Parents are welcome to join the circle and participate along with their children!

Tim Wells has been an early childhood educator for more than 20 years and has provided children’s music programming with Hoppin’ John and the Grassroots Festival for well over a decade. Located in the Kids Tent.

Family Learning Square Dance, Saturday 5:15pm

Join caller Ruth Pershing and the family band rendition of the Hoppin’ Johnnies for this fun activity that everyone can enjoy — kids, parents, aunts, uncles and friends!   No prior experience needed — this dance is friendly for all ages and skill levels. The family dance is followed by the ever-popular cake walk…Located in the Dance Tent.

Cake Walk! Saturday 6pm

Need we say more? All cakes will be individually pre-wrapped/covered for public health! Located in the Dance Tent.

Make & Play Your Own Can-jo, Saturday 4pm

Join Hoppin’ John veteran Pierre Lauffer, and his friends, in making your own playable, single-stringed instrument. The Can-jo is traditionally made from an old can and oil-rubbed wood…the traditional spam cans are less hardy, so we’ve done our best to find interesting and perfectly-sized ones. At the end of the workshop, you will have a playable instrument — we’ll all play a tune together, then you can take your masterpiece out into the world and jam. Workshop limited to first 20 participants. Materials donations appreciated. Located in the Kids Tent.


Thank you to our WONDERFUL sponsors! We couldn’t do it without these folks:

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