Last Sunday, the weather was superb and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas that’s being held annually since 1996 every June in New Haven, Connecticut, has just started. I took our children there wanting to see and pet some dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. That’s one of the many events being held on that day, Dinosaur Petting Zoo. We rode a city bus, since there’ll be lots of people parked on the streets. As soon as we reached the Downtown Green, we saw people gathering here and there. Some children played and got into the the fountain, while some adults soaked their feet too. We looked around and saw a unique and quite awesome information booth. The building is shaped like a honeycomb, made out of aluminum and created by Yale architecture students. I walked around and was really astonished by it. Then I took the kids to have some lunch from the food vendors that were lined up. My kids chose Thai food, which were some Pad Thai and garlic chicken on a skewer, while my self wanted to try some Ethiopian food. We sat on the grass and had a picnic.I enjoyed the food, although not so with the sourdough flatbread called Injera. It was too sour for my taste. During our lunch, the Mariachi band performed on the main stage.
After having lunch, the kids and I walked to our favorite frozen yogurt place. When we got back to the Green, we headed to the Box City, a section from the festival for making and creating your own city from boxes. First, we had to line up for the building permit that was signed, stamped and handed by the building inspector. Each person who requested a permit must filled up a form and stated what kind of building they wanted to build and how much they would cost. Between us, there were a restaurant, a hotel, a mosque and a theater. The four of us took part and using mixed media of new craft materials and recycled things we built our buildings. We finished our building project on time to see the dinosaurs.
By 5 PM, the show about dinosaurs called Walking with the Dinosaurs was underway. Sam, the host, a very cheery and funny Australian opened the show. During the show she would call out to whoever wanted to volunteer, to pet or be eaten by the dinosaurs. The dinosaurs on the show were specialty puppets that looked really similar to the real ones and established by Erth, a visual effect company from Australia. The first dinosaurs the puppeteer brought out were two Dryosaur babies. Some children were able to pet them. The second type of dinosaur was Leaellynasaura. Its appearance similar to an Emu or an Ostrich. Then there was also the giant dragonfly that used to fly around the earth. After that a young Tyrannosaurus Rex roared on the stage. Some children were screaming, crying and scared, not to mention also a handful of adults who were startled and astonished by it, when it came on. Some children were asked to help taking care of the T-Rex. What an excitement among the audience on that bright Father’s Day Sunday.
After an exciting time with the dinosaurs, we were entertained by Bob, the juggler. He performed a couple of juggling tricks that really got the festival going. There was still music performance on the main stage for the evening, but we’re already beat. The 2012 International Festival of Arts & Ideas really kicked off great.