Sarah helps to make sure all the festival kids are alright
Last updated at 21:08, Thursday, 09 August 2012
A mother of two, pregnant with a third child and working nights as a nurse – somehow Sarah Kay also finds time to help organise Solfest.
But none of that fazes her as the hugely popular Kids Arena at the annual music event is her passion and her creation.
Sarah, 31, of Laurel House, Abbeytown, created the arena at the first Solfest in 2004 to allow families to have a place to go.
The arena has grown over the years and now has arts and crafts, climbing frames, sand pits and live performances.
At its heart is the Baby Chill-Out Tent which offers a warm, dry space full of toys, books and comfortable seats.
The Kids Arena was recognised for its excellence a couple of years ago after winning the Virtual Festival’s best family friendly festival award.
Solfest, which is staged every August in an idyllic rural setting at Tarns, between Aspatria and Silloth, has become known for attracting family groups.
Sarah says: “We just wanted to make a festival that we would all want to go to.
“Although back in 2004 no one on the committee had any children, we still wanted to run a safe festival that was fun for everyone.
“Families aren’t just about children, it’s about everyone being happy.”
However, last year saw Sarah take a break from running the Kids Arena, becoming an advisor and a helper at the festival.
With two young children and a full-time nursing job at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, she decided to take a year off.
She says: “I work full-time and it just got a bit too much. It was difficult to get to meetings.
“But I missed it too much. It felt like giving away a baby.
“It was tough seeing someone else run it. I acted as an advisor and offered support.
“It was just difficult to see someone else running my passion and my baby.”
She won’t be completely on her own this year as she has drafted in the services of husband Simon in helping to run the arena.
Sarah is aiming to get an award for the Kids Arena again this year by booking some great entertainment.
The Crafty Monkeys from Penrith will be doing mosaic and bead making, and pottery painting.
The Singing Kettle band, who don’t usually perform at festivals, will be playing their traditional children’s folk songs on the Sunday.
There will also be a toy dog show, with children encouraged to bring their own toy dogs, and there will be pool and hockey tables.
Sarah believes that what makes Solfest so popular is the diversity of the festival.
She says: “People don’t like to be ripped off.
“You can buy a pint or crisps that you would pay the same price for in a pub.
“We have got a lovely location. People from down south really enjoy it.
“There is something for everyone. There is every kind of music.
“It’s a family festival. It’s 24 hours of entertainment each day, so there is always something for people to do.”
Sarah will be running the Kids Arena while pregnant, as she is expecting her third child in October.
She ran the arena twice while pregnant with her son, Joseph, three, and daughter, Elsie, two.
She says: “I am going to have another full-on heavy festival.
“But I am very much looking forward to the festival this year.”
First published at 19:19, Thursday, 09 August 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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