Change of Location for Family Fun Fest and Talent Search

OTTUMWA-The location of the American Gothic Performing Arts Festival’s Family Fun Fest, including the Billy Riley Talent Search has moved to Bridge View Center due to possible inclement weather.

With temps predicted to be in the 90s, festival president Dennis Willhoit says it’s too risky. “We simply can’t have our performers on stage with no shade,” he says. “We want everyone to enjoy the day and not suffer through the heat for the sake of their art.”

The Performing Arts Family Fun Fest is the most recent addition to the organization’s festival line up. The day begins at 2 p.m. with a “make and take” art trail. There will be a series of five arts-related activities on the trail around Bridge View where families can experience music making, theater and dancing together as a family. Willhoit says it’ll be a great way for families to relax and have fun with the arts.

At 4:00 the Bill Riley Talent Search will begin inside. Nearly 20 acts have registered to compete. Cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places will be awarded and the winner of each division will advance to the state talent search held at the Iowa State Fair in August. The festival’s children’s chorus will also be featured during the final judging session.

Following the talent search, the kid’s rock band Boogers will present an hour-long concert for families at around 6:30.

The Boogers are the brainchild of Dr. Paul Crowe. Fatherhood, a PhD in Developmental Psychology, and 20 years of sloggin’ it in wretched clubs as a punk rocker – even opening for Dee Dee Ramone and Marky Ramone – formed Paul’s vision of the Boogers.

As Crusty Booger, he marries these experiences to make developmentally appropriate rock and punk rock for kids and their families to enjoy together. As about.com kids’ music expert Warren Truitt said, “the Boogers bring a breath of fresh air to the kids music scene.”

Formed in 2008, their debut CD “Road to Rock” received a National Parenting Publications Gold Award (highest honor). Their 2010 CD “Let’s Go!” was named one of the top kids albums by Daily Candy Kids National. Their 3rd CD, “Extractum Victoris” was released on December 4th, 2012. They have appeared in major press and radio all over the country, hobnob with cool underground comix artists like Jay Lynch, Jon Holmstrom, & Shawn Dickinson, and (when they aren’t with their families) prefer to be on the road, bringing their unique brand of rock to kids and their rockin’ parents.

“This will be a rockin’ good time,” says Willhoit, “it’s not to be missed.”

The event is sponsored in conjunction with the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation.