The PlayThink Movement & Flow Arts Festival is back this week for its fifth year of giving children the opportunity to play and learn, and adults the chance to be kids once again.
“The whole idea is that you can come and learn how to be a child again and be comfortable with yourself through movement and connection with other people without having to use mind altering substances,” said PlayThink Festival creator Paige Hankla.
This year’s festival will feature 250 workshops for all ages, including demonstrations in yoga, aerial arts, poi, hoola hooping, movement, dancing, music and arts. Hankla said there will be 13 bands and DJs, a fire walk, stilt walkers dressed as walking trees, clowns, balloon twirlers, art installations, fireworks, and fire dancing.
In the Play Market, approximately 23 vendors from various walks of life will be set up selling everything from bamboo clothing and organic body products to flow props.
Hankla said the idea for the festival came when she was just 18-years-old. Never a large partier, Hankla said she went to several festivals and saw that everyone was drinking and doing drugs.
“I wanted to create a place where everyone could feel comfortable in their own skins, with their families, and peers, without any additional substances,” said Hankla, now a mother of an 18-month-old son, who added that PlayThink is very family friendly.
“With PlayThink, it was important for families to be involved because I feel like we give our children away at six months to daycare and never really see them,” explained Hankla. “So I’m hoping this is an opportunity for families to come together, learn together, and teach children to be self sufficient, responsible, confident and capable adults.”
Hankla said she wanted the four-day experience to feel like an escape from the current culture of working.
“Everyday we get up, go to our jobs and bust our booty, then come home, watch TV, go to bed, and then start all over again the next morning,” said Hankla. “So this provides someone an outlet to do something different and something that will be healthy for emotions, mental clarity, and for their body, and spirit.”
The PlayThink Movement & Flow Arts Festival is located at HomeGrown Hidaways, 500 Floyd Branch Road, Berea. Gates will open Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. with programming through Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at the gate. Tickets rates are $95 per adult per day or $155 for four days and $75 per day per child or $115 for four days. Children under 6 receive free admission. For more information, visit PlayThinkFest.com.