NEW BRUNSWICK — The State Theatre held its 7th annual Family Day celebration on Presidents’ Day, Monday, Feb. 18, and some 3,000 people—children and their families—came to downtown New Brunswick to experience the day of performances, workshops, interactive exhibits, and more.
Featuring performances of The Ugly Duckling and The Tortoise and the Hare by America’s Got Talent finalists Corbian/Lightwire Theater and made possible by the support of Colgate Palmolive and Miller’s Rentals, Family Day was part of the State Theatre’s Hub City Carnivale winter festival—a month-long celebration of creativity and fun.
“Despite the cold weather and despite Hurricane Sandy forcing many school districts to cancel their Presidents Day holiday, we had a great turnout for Family Day,” said Lian Farrer, the theater’s vice president for Education. “It was wonderful to see so many families taking advantage of all the fun programs and activities at the different venues.”
“We’re very grateful to Colgate Palmolive for their generous support of this program, which allows us to present a variety of performances, many of which are free to the public,” added Mark W. Jones, State Theatre President & CEO.
There were dozens of events to keep families busy throughout the day. In addition to mainstage performances at the State Theatre, the festival included nine hands-on workshops led by the State Theatre, American Repertory Ballet, and the George Street Playhouse. Families also enjoyed a variety of free performances, including interactive programs by the Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s BRAVO Brass ensemble and the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble, as well as “Daytime Bedtime Stories” with Crossroads Theatre Company and the Philadelphia Zoo’s “Who’s Who at the Zoo.”
Family Day encompassed multiple venues: the State Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Crossroads Theatre, and United Methodist Church on George Street. Adding to the festival atmosphere was the Hub City Big Top—a huge heated tent set up on Livingston Avenue in front of the State Theatre. Under the Big Top, families enjoyed free face painting and balloon animals; live characters from popular children’s shows such as Sesame Street, Winnie the Pooh, and The Backyardigan’s; and music by DJ Rob Porter. Also, on display on the street was a fire engine from the New Brunswick Fire Department as well as the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures mobile dental van, who gave free dental screenings for kids who attended Family Day.