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Auburn CityFest prepares for its 23rd year of celebration

City of Auburn

Auburn is gearing up for what’s billed as the city’s largest free outdoor festival of the year. The 23rd annual Auburn CityFest is back in town Saturday, April 27 at Keisel Park. The 2024 theme is Space Adventures.

“It's really a coming together at the whole city and [at] our biggest, largest, most beautiful park, and it's all free,” said Anne Bergman, the public relations specialist for the city of Auburn Parks and Recreation and also the co-coordinator for the Auburn CityFest. “Everything is completely free. All these activities.”

A space themed, educational thrill show is offered this year, using the STEM Curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). During each show, stars perform death defying acts, while a worker explains how the acts use the foundations of STEM.

Those aren’t the only family entertainment options at CityFest.

“There’s the [Auburn University] Raptor Center. They have the birds they are the eagles [and] the Kheher Preserve. Everything you would like to do is no charge, except if you would like to buy something,” Bergman said.

A celebration of all things Korean is also happening at CityFest. Korea Fest is an opportunity to experience the rich and diverse culture of Korea. With a variety of activities and events, there is something for everyone at Korea Fest from Korean music and dance performances or traditional crafts like paper lantern-making and hanbok dressing.

The Amazing Bubble Factory will also bring the amazing art of bubbles to life to audiences with thousands of bubbles from the size of a pea to the size of a minivan. Read more about the family entertainment options here.

Aubrn Cityfest will also showcase musical entertainment. This includes live rock/pop music with familiar space-themed cover tunes from the Prattville-based band, Outside the Inside. The Auburn Community Orchestra will also perform along with Tyler Peek, a 22- year-old songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Birmingham, now studying music composition at Auburn University.

Bergman said Auburn CityFest began in 2000 as an arts and crafts fair complete with homemade goods. This is a tradition the fair has kept into the present.

“Only handmade crafted items will be sold. We will have ceramics, we will have woodwork, we will have paintings, we will have handmade jewelry, [and] we will have a lot of baked goods. A lot of people make jams or barbecue sauce. We open that up to them. Everything from iron work to leather goods,” she said.

This year’s CityFest is space themed and has numerous vendors including one from Auburn University that is equipped to accommodate those with disabilities.

“We also have the Auburn University School of Nursing Sensory Inclusion Vehicle there. That is a vehicle that they bring on site. This is a great place for people with invisible disabilities to go in [and] get a respite from the festival. They can go in and do some sensory activities, kind of get a break, and then go back out into the festival,” Bergman said.

The 23rd Annual Auburn CityFest is free and is a rain or shine event. The festival will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Kiesel Park. More information is available here.

Andrea Tinker is a student intern at Alabama Public Radio. She is majoring in News Media with a minor in African American Studies at The University of Alabama. In her free time, Andrea loves to listen to all types of music, spending time with family, and reading about anything pop culture related.

Baillee Majors is the Morning Edition host and a reporter at Alabama Public Radio.
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