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Ordway to Host 2016 Flint Hills International Children's Festival

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts today announced the lineup for the 16th annual Flint Hills International Children's Festival, one of the largest children's festivals of its kind in the country. This world-class family event, which will take place May 31-June 5, showcases diverse art and cultures of more than 25 countries from across the globe. Family Weekend (June 4-5) will feature free outdoor performances, crafts and activities in and around the Ordway, as well as indoor performances by international artists from four different countries.

The 2016 featured indoor artists include: Acrobuffos' Air Play, Viento de Agua Unplugged, Presentation House Theatre's Where the Wild Things Are and Marionetas de la Esquina's Sleeping Beauty Dreams. Performances cost just $5 per ticket and will take place on stages at the Ordway and Landmark Center.

The popular outdoor spectacle returns for the 2016 Festival with Squonk Opera's Pneumatica, a concert with live original music that permeates the air while inflatables pump up and immerse the audience. Powered by fans and turbines, the 40-foot-tall "Lady Pneumatica" is brought to life through music, imagery and the power of air.

Family Weekend also features free entertainment and activities throughout the Ordway, Rice Park and Wells Fargo Family Plaza, including:

· More than 30 free outdoor performances by 550 local artists and groups representing cultural traditions from around the world. Performances will take place on the Flint Hills World Music Stage and the Wells Fargo World Dance Stage.

· Folktales and songs from across the globe as told by Twin Cities storytellers and musicians in the Xcel Energy Story Time Corner.

· The Clear Channel Outdoor ARTwalk, a walking tour through downtown St. Paul highlighting hundreds of pieces of art created by young people.

· Craft activities from 25 different arts, cultural and educational organizations around the Twin Cities.

· An instrument petting zoo where children can experience musical instruments from all over the world up-close.

· The Touch of Sound, an interactive audio installation featuring the sounds of St. Paul.

· Dozens of family-friendly activities such as face painting, balloon artists, henna tattoos, juggling, dance lessons and more.

"We're thrilled to be able to bring the Flint Hills International Children's Festival to life for its 16th year! Flint Hills Resources has been involved with making the Festival happen since day one, and we're so grateful for their generous support. Each year the event gets bigger and better, and the 2016 Festival is no exception," said Dayna Martinez, artistic director of world music, dance and the International Children's Festival at the Ordway. "One of the new things I'm most excited about this year is the addition of the Fun Zone on Washington St. right in front of the Ordway. The street will be filled with activities for kids of all ages, including do-it-yourself face painting stations, the always popular juggling area with Mr. Fun, costumed characters roaming the area, and much more!"

"Flint Hills is excited to celebrate the Children's Festival's sweet sixteenth birthday," said Geoff Glasrud, vice president and manufacturing manager at the Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend refinery in Rosemount. "Nowhere can you find a more diverse celebration of culture that includes everything from arts and crafts to world-class performances by international artists that each year inspire and entertain thousands of children and families."

Nearly 70,000 people are expected to attend the 2016 Festival, including more than 20,000 students and teachers from schools across Minnesota and western Wisconsin who will attend international performances, participate in hands-on activities and engage in artist workshops throughout the week during School Days (May 31-June 3). More than 770,000 people have attended the Festival since its inception in 2001. For a complete listing of events or to purchase indoor performance tickets, visit www.ordway.org/festival.



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