Head-start Students Get Free Pass Inside Dogwood Festival

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

April 19, 2006

On Wednesday, some kids got free reign at the Dogwood Festival in Charlottesville. The children are from the Monticello Area Community Action Agency Head-start program which helps low-income families.

A lot of people may have wondered if the festival was closed, or open; they realized it was actually open for one special group of kids.

It was open just for the students from MACAA's Head-start program.

The Dogwood Festival Organization has let children come into the festival free many times over the last 10 years. The festival let over 200 kids between the ages of two and four go in for free.

The kids were able to ride the rides as many times as they have wanted. The students at the festival represented Charlottesville as well all neighboring counties.

The organizers say they want to continue doing this at the festival each year, so the kids can have fun.

"It's like a day in the park, but a really good day in the park. They are smiling, laughing, and having a good time. A lot of these kids have never seen anything like this before. They may ride by on U.S, 250, but to actual come in a see this is a real privilege," said Larry Williams of the Dogwood Festival.

The privilege has continued to other kids this week. There were a few kids from pre-schools around the city as well a English as a Second Language kid at the festival doing the same thing on Tuesday.

Organizers say this opportunity is one of the best they have done, and they hope to continue to do it more over the years.

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