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WoodFest returns Sept. 24 for making music, art and memories in the Flint Hills

Symphony in the Flint Hills’ fall event, WoodFest, is returning for its 13th year on Saturday, September 24 at Camp Wood YMCA in Elmdale, Kan. The daylong event offers a variety of music, art and nature activities, features performances by local and national musicians, and concludes with a sunset concert.

“From beginning guitar to archery, creative writing and percussion, there’s something for all ages and skill levels at WoodFest. The goal is simply to have a great day in the Flint Hills making music, art and memories,” said Sandy Carlson, program manager for Symphony in the Flint Hills.

While Symphony in the Flint Hills is known for hosting their Signature Event every June, WoodFest is the organization’s fall event for all ages of musicians, artists and nature lovers. Participants get to choose how they want to spend the day by creating their schedule from dozens of music, art and nature workshops taught by regional and national experts.

“One big addition this year is that WoodFest is featuring tiny porch concerts. Inspired by National Public Radio’s ‘tiny desk concerts,’ a tiny porch concert will take place every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and each one features incredibly talented musicians and even recording artists from our own backyard,” said Carlson.

Some of the musicians headlining the tiny porch concerts and teaching the workshops include Kansas recording artists Richard Crowson of Pop & The Boys and Wayne Gottstine of Split Lip Rayfield; WoodFest Music Director Susan Mayo; Emporia State faculty members Ramiro Miranda, Irene Diaz and Tracey Freeze; and Grammy Award-winning cellist Eugene Friesen.

Participants can also enjoy archery, prairie walks, horseback riding, painting, and a creative writing class surrounded by Camp Wood YMCA’s 630 acres of tallgrass prairie.

For the finale, WoodFest will move to a hilltop amphitheater for the popular sunset concert featuring the WoodFest Symphonia with Friesen on cello, guitarist and composer Max O’Rourke and violinist Jason Anick. Guests can also stay the night or come back in the morning for breakfast and a final concert by Friesen at 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 25.

From individuals to groups of eight, WoodFest offers passes that include three meals, all classes, horse rides, the sunset concert and the Sunday morning concert. A Big Bluestem pass for up to eight people is $175, a Little Bluestem pass for up to four people is $100, and the Individual pass is $50. A pass to just attend dinner and the Sunset Concert is $50. Camp Wood YMCA lodging is also available. Residents of Chase and Morris counties can attend free due to the continued support of the Kaltenbacher Trust and Trembly, Young, and Nystrom Foundations.

For more information and to register, visit https://symphonyintheflinthills.org/woodfest, call 620-273-8955 or email woodfest@symphonyintheflinthills.org.