TomTom Founders Fest Charlottesville April 11-14: Free Family Fun



TomTom Founders Festival, presented in partnership with the University of Virginia, is Charlottesville’s SXSW. This relaxing yet exciting, innovative festival is kid-friendly and visually beautiful.

Events run from Thursday, April 11 to Sunday, April 14 (celebrating Founders Day — Thomas Jefferson’s birthday) and it is completely free.

Check out interactive exhibitions for young foodies, artists, and inventors, as well as lots of concerts, block parties and play. Over 60 free indoor and outdoor concerts, from world music to hip hop, indie, bluegrass and electronica.To view photographs of families and children enjoying last year’s TomTom Fest at Nick Strocchia Photography’s blog.


TomTom Fest events of particular interest to families:

  • McGuffey 13-Band Block Party on Friday April 12 — A block party at a historic schoolhouse with outdoor activities on the McGuffey Lawn. Live music, street food, beer garden, public art, & children’s activities. The street closed down to traffic, musicians playing from the front steps, a street food fair stretching down the block, public art being created in the lawn, open galleries inside.
  • Picnic Day in Lee Park on Saturday April 12 —Diverse concerts, collaborative art projects, community and fun, as we shut down the streets around Lee Park for a special concert series.
  • Bike tour of public art, the completion of a public mural, and dozens of outdoor art exhibitions.
  • Charlottesville Ballet and other groups will offer kid-oriented dance lessons.
  • Outdoorsy kids’ fun like love hands-on workshops on vermiculture, salve and seed-bomb making, composting, and rainwater harvesting as well as a “Wild Salad Bar” of 10 edible wild plants.
  • Demo Days offer little engineers the opportunity to check out (and vote on!) the work of undergrads at UVA
  • Entrepreneurial competitions fuel the ambition of slightly older kids and their tech-savvy parents
  • TED-style Tom Talks by world-renowned speakers like Rick Hamilton, master inventor and IBM’s all-time leading patent holder.
  • 39th Worldwide Sketch Crawl — Jessie Champan, owner of Sketchwell Architecture & Design firm, invites kids to grab a pen and capture the bustling scene at the Farmers Market.
  • Tom Yum Local Food Festival is a celebration of local food in Charlottesville’s Farmers Market with virtuoso live cooking from four of the town’s best chefs.
  • Food trucks sit at every corner, such as Babes in the Woods with locally raised, delicious sausages and Greenie’s with creative vegetarian fare from nearby farms.

For more great info on this fabulous free weekend, go to the TomTomFest webpage and TomTomFest Facebook page.

Photos by cvilletomorrow on Flickr via a Creative Commons license.

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