It’s all about kids and art this Saturday in Jackson County, as two local events bring people together for fun, free activities.

Families can make their way to Seymour High School from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the annual Kids Fest and then head to the Brownstown/Ewing Main Street Artsfest, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kids Fest, now in its 18th year, is sponsored by Child Care Network and the Seymour Noon Lions Club.

The festival’s main purpose is to highlight the services, programs and resources available in the community for children and families and to celebrate the Day of the Young Child, said Janice Read, executive director of Child Care Network.

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There will be dozens of booths set up providing free information to parents and offering games and prizes, crafts and other activities for children.

River Valley Resources will be onsite to get families signed up for On My Way Pre-K grants to send their children to preschool in the fall.

Members of Working For Our Dreams, a Jackson County Hispanic 4-H group, will provide translation services for Spanish-speaking families during the event.

Some of the attractions and vendors this year include Star Wars characters, an interactive instrument display from Paige’s Music, Seymour Area Youth Football League, Healthy Jackson County fitness activities, ballet and drumstick fitness demonstrations, Bentley the therapy dog, a YoJack Give Me 5 Dance, Southern Indiana Model Railroad display, vision screenings, a bicycle and tricycle rodeo with free bike helmets provided by Pardieck Law Firm, and a petting zoo.

Read said Kids Fest is always well-attended, attracting 800 to 1,000 people.

It has grown from its start under a tent in the east side Jay C Food Store parking lot. In its first couple of years, there were a dozen vendors and about 200 people attended, Read said.

Later, the event was moved to the National Guard Armory in Freeman Field but outgrew that venue, and it is now conducted in the high school gymnasium.

Read said Kids Fest remains popular and relevant because there are so many families with young children in the area.

The third annual Artsfest is sponsored by Brownstown/Ewing Main Street to showcase the works of local fine and craft artists and to attract people to Brownstown. A full schedule of events and entertainment is planned, according to Wilma Wessel, event chairwoman.

Artsfest takes place in Brownstown and Ewing, and local artisans will be set up around the courthouse, the Jackson County History Center and W.R. Ewing and at area businesses. They will make and sell arts and crafts, painting, pottery and more. A special area will be available on the courthouse lawn for children to participate in arts and craft projects.

Festivalgoers can tour the Ewing Depot. The renovation project is not complete, but visitors will be able to go inside and see the progress that has been made.

At W.R. Ewing, there will be photography displays, paintings, artwork, authors signing their books, artisans and crafters.

In Brownstown, the Watermelon Festival Committee will sponsor a car show, and there will be artisans and bake sales along Main Street and on the courthouse lawn.

Jackson County History Center will offer activities, and there will be a children’s activities tent, sponsored by Creative U Art Studio owner Kathy Nichols.

Artists also will paint at various locations.

Jackson County Recycling District will again sponsor a Re-use It Art Contest, and the Brownstown Lions Club will sponsor a spaghetti supper beginning at 4 p.m. at Michie’s Diner.

The evening will close at 7:30 p.m. with Jackson County Community Theatre’s production of “Deathtrap.”

Shuttle service will be provided between Brownstown and Ewing throughout the day.

If you go

18th annual Kids Fest

Where: Seymour High School gymnasium

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday

Admission: Free

Brownstown/Ewing Main Street Artsfest

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Various locations in Brownstown and Ewing, including the Jackson County Courthouse, Jackson County History Center and W.R. Ewing

Admission: Free

Information: brownstownewingmainstreet.org or contact Wilma Wessel at 812-358-2199, 812-525-2055 or wwwessel@yahoo.com.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.