Moms and tots of all ages gathered under the pavilion at Wolfe Park on Monday to hear the sounds of a special guest singer, Steven Richard Lindholm. But they weren't the only ones in the crowd. A lone dad stood out from the masses and got singled out quickly.
Chris Gavlick of Trumbull was a little bit hesitant when he got called from the back of the pavilion to center stage Monday afternoon to assist Children's entertainer Steven Richard Lindholm of Vermont.
"C'mon dad, you in the back. Don't look behind you, you're the only dad here," Lindholm joked as he coaxed Gavlick up front.
Once Gavlick got to the front of the pavilion, Lindholm quickly outfitted him in a chicken suit to the delight of his two children, Evan and Olivia, watching from afar. Lindholm instructed Gavlick to "dance like a chicken" and reluctantly, he obliged.
An award-winning performer, Lindholm has won the Children's Music Web Award, the Parent's Choice, and iParenting Media Award.
Lindholm had kids jumping, dancing, and laughing with his interactive song and dance show. The entertainment series is the brainchild of Parks and Recreation Director David Freedman.
Freedman explained that "every winter there is an entertainment showcase for parks and recreation directors in Vermont where we preview entertainers. I saw Steven and knew I needed to get him."
Freedman graduated from Lyndon State College in Vermont where Lindholm is from. He has his BA in Recreation Management and also holds an MBA.
Freedman smiled as he looked on while one of the "tweens" in attendance danced with a bumblebee suit on. He said there was special "Tweens Camp" for grades 6-8 at Wolfe Park and another K-5 camp at Stepney Elementary School, in addition to the happenings at Wolfe Park.
Costumes, props and audience participation were all part of the act. Participants were rewarded by Lindholm for their hard work with copies of his latest children's music CD.
The Kanaan kids of Newtown had fun dancing to the alligator dance. Four-year-old Jack Kanaan put his hand up right away when Lindholm asked if there was anyone in the crowd "with a lot of energy," although once in front of all those people he got a little bit of stage fright.
Jack's siblings Julia, JJ, and Jenna quickly joined him in doing the alligator dance, snapping their arms like an alligator and doing other hand motions to the fun song.
The Children's Entertainment Series at Wolfe Park runs for more weeks. Check their website for more detailed information. Registration is not required for this activity. The summer series runs through Aug. 8.