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My Weekend as an Austin Kiddie Limits Volunteer

by Austin Malcolm, Texas Tower PR

This past weekend was the Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL), one of the biggest music festivals in the nation in Zilker Park. Every year, an area of the park is sectioned off for Austin Kiddie Limits (AKL), a kid-friendly environment that includes a stage for bands like School of Rock and Rocknoceros and tents/tables set up by many children orientated organizations. This year, Creative Action (partnered with H-E-B) hosted the Alter Ego Factory, a magical machine that allows kids to meet a variety of fantastical characters that will help them discover their inner Alter Ego. The factory was a hit and at one point had a line stretching across the AKL grounds.

As a volunteer, I can say that I had just as much fun participating in the factory as I did at any of the concerts at ACL.

Friday morning, after making it through the crazy sequence of buses and shuttles to reach Zilker Park and across the vast fields of people, I finally found myself at the Austin Kiddie Limits. Dressed up as the “Cool Blue Beach-Lover” I was overwhelmed with what my eyes saw. The simple white tent provided for the event was turned into this wonderful headquarters decked out with beeping gizmos and blinking doo-hickies, something only a mad scientist could dream up.

All of us volunteers were dressed up in some of our best costumes and ready to unleash everyone’s alter egos:

  • Kids were rushing in with their alter ego name cards ready to design the look of their alter ego, which was described as “adjective, adverb, noun.” For example, “Beautiful jumping princess.”
  • After they created their alter ego, they got their face painted and then finally receive the much-desired piece of costume their alter ego needed, whether it was a cape for the super heroes or lots of fur for the pop star divas.

As with everyone who’s ever worked with children before, its a lot of hard work, especially when there’s close to 100 of them; but in the end, it was definitely worth it to know that the kids who attended ACL/AKL were leaving with crafting experience, knowledge of some new vocabulary, and of course, a smile on their face (as well as some painted shapes.) We’re ready to come back next year for more creative fun!

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