Chikiri and the School Of Taiko, a drumming group, will make its first performance at Kidstock! this year. (Tero Patana)

Chikiri and the School Of Taiko, a drumming group, will make its first performance at Kidstock! this year. (Tero Patana)

Kidstock! offers a day of free fun for families in Edmonds

See “kindie” rock groups, Mexican dancers and Japanese drummers at the eighth annual event.

It could very well be that Kidstock! is the only possible title for a day-long event filled with free, family entertainment.

The festival happens Saturday at Edmonds Center for the Arts, where the stage will be filled with Japanese taiko drumming, tap dancing and a dance troupe performing three styles of traditional Mexican dances.

Two well-known kid-friendly rock bands also will perform: The Not-Its! and Recess Monkey.

There will be a bilingual (English and Spanish) singalong, and two sessions with entertainment designed for children on the autism spectrum.

This is the eighth year for Kidstock!

“We’ve got programming happening everywhere,” said Gillian Jones, the Edmonds arts center’s programming director. “It’s just a great community event.”

Each year, organizers look for local and regional groups or artists that are all-ages: engaging not just for younger children but also for parents, grandparents and anyone who comes along with them, she said.

The ever-popular Recess Monkey has performed at the event nearly every year.

“The songs they write are really fun for all ages,” Jones said of the “kindie” rockers. “They are a favorite.”

The Not-Its!, who have been performing for the past decade, lay their claim on providing kids “their first rock concert experience.”

It’s the first time that CHIKIRI & The School of TAIKO, the Japanese style drumming group, will perform at Kidstock!

“It will be a high-energy performance,” Jones said.

The Northwest Tap Connection, based in south Seattle, is making a return appearance to Kidstock! The youth dance group focuses on social and racial justice through dance, Jones said.

Bailadores de Bronce, a community group formed in 1972, will bring 20 of its members to the event. They will perform dances from the Mexican states of Jalisco, Sinaloa and Nuevo Leon.

“We try to keep as much tradition as we can,” said Adrian Olivas, the group’s director. “From Jalisco, for example, they have French and Spanish influences.”

The dance from Nuevo Leon, meanwhile, has Austrian and German influences.

“It’s really diverse, more than people think,” Olivas said. “All of them have the touch of the original indigenous people who were there.”

After the dances, the group will sing a couple of songs and invite kids to the stage to learn some dance steps.

“We’re happy to be back,” Olivas said. “This is the second time we’ve done Kidstock!”

In a classroom at the arts center, two performances are scheduled for children with autism and other sensory issues.

“It’s a very gentle performance experience,” Jones said.

Space is limited to 20 children at each performance, so families are asked to pre-register for this event. Call 425-275-9485 or email katie@ec4arts.

The Parachute Players, based in Shoreline, will perform “Polka Dots,” a story about a young girl’s imaginary birthday party, with puppets and accompanied by accordion and ukulele music. The performance ends with a dance party under the stars.

In the afternoon, join with Alley Bell and sing bilingual songs.

If the kids get restless, take them to the gym adjacent to the art center’s auditorium. There, a bouncy house will be set up all day.

Families can speed up their entry to the events by registering online, “but walk-ups are welcome as well,” Jones said.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

If you go

Kidstock! — the eighth annual arts celebration for kids — is 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N., Edmonds. Free, but registration is requested. Go to tinyurl.com/EDKidstockregister for more information.

Kidstock! schedule

Main Stage Performances

9:45-10:30 a.m.: Recess Monkey

11:00-11:45 a.m.: Northwest Tap Connection

12:15-1:00 p.m.: Bailadores de Bronce

1:30-2:15 p.m.: CHIKIRI & The School of TAIKO

2:45-3:30 p.m. :The Not-Its!

Center Classroom Workshops

10-10:55 a.m.: Parachute Players

11:15 a.m.-12:10 p.m.: Parachute Players

1:15-2:15 p.m. Alley Bell Music, Music Together con Español

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