Carrboro WCOM radio station will host the first “Friends and Family Festival” on Saturday


Carrboro Radio Station WCOM will host a “Friends and Family Festival” Saturday from 2-7 p.m. at Carrboro Town Commons. The festival will offer a corn hole, beer and wine tasting, disc golf, live music and opportunities for local organizations to reach out to the community.

This is the first time that WCOM has organized a festival of this kind. Event organizer Chris Amsbary touted Saturday’s festival, created as a fundraising opportunity for the station, as an “all-ages event.”

“The idea was to plan an event that my 8-year-old daughter, me and my 40-something wife would also enjoy,” Amsbary said.

There will be a variety of areas and activities for children thanks to the collaboration with the Kidzu Children’s Museum, the ArtsCenter, the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, the Carrboro Farmers’ Market and the Carrboro Fire-Rescue Department.

The Kidzu Children’s Museum will host an arts and crafts booth, where children can build objects from recycled materials. One craft involves making musical instruments by putting rice in toilet paper rolls and decorating the exterior with recycled materials.

Kailey Singleton, who works as Kidzu’s director of operations, said being part of this festival will also help Kidzu better engage people in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

“We really love being involved in the community,” Singleton said. “The festival gives us a really good opportunity to engage with children and families, but also engage with other organizations that will be there and help our community.”

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils said the event is a great way to celebrate a local radio station. WCOM, an all-volunteer station, has been operating since 2004.

“It provides an opportunity for members of the local community to host their own programming and get people interested in local news, local events and local music,” Seils said.

For entertainment, live music will feature local and out-of-town artists, including Karen K. of the kid-friendly band the Jitterbugs, the Carolina Songbirds, Saludos Compay and Philadelphia-based musician Jay Carlis.

“This festival is really important to me as a musician who is starting to build an audience and a career in music,” Carlis said.

Although this is the first “Friends and Family Festival”, Amsbary said he sees it growing in the future. He noted that this year’s venue has one stage with four acts, but he wants to see it expand to two stages.

“Any time you do something the first time is a lot,” Amsbary said. “As you do it each year, it gets bigger and better. We want to add this.

For now, however, local leaders are excited to attend the festival for the first time.

Carrboro City Council member Barbara Foushee said it was a chance for the community to come together for a good cause.

“To see the community starting to come together again in the post-COVID era is really huge,” she said.

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