By Greg Hince
June 19, 2012. The Watauga County Library kicked off its “Dream Big Read” summer series for kids with an ice cream social and concert by Greensboro based children’s band Big Bang Boom Tuesday afternoon. Ice cream from Marble Slab Creamery was donated courtesy of Earth Fare. The event was the first of many the library will hold as a part of an annual nationwide summer campaign encouraging children to read.
The show had a distinctly Boone vibe, with children hula-hooping, blowing bubbles and juggling sticks, and parents dancing to the power pop songs of Big Bang Boom.
The band’s songs focus on things kids can relate to, like getting in trouble, eating cookies instead of vegetables and doing the hokey pokey. But, most also include underlying themes in the lyrics aimed at parents, like their song dedicated to the “hippie mamas.”
Big Bang Boom is a three piece consisting of Chuck Folds, Steve Willard, and Eddie Walker but performed with just a guitarist and bassist Tuesday. They have toured for more than 20 years. According to their website, the band aims to play for parents who want more from children’s music by writing with a pop sensibility that mixes alternative, hip-hop, country, and other styles. Chuck Folds is the younger brother of accomplished musician and producer Ben Folds, most well known for his band Ben Folds Five, who also got their start in North Carolina.
The band prides itself on its high energy live show, and claims “there is no sitting down at a Big Bang Boom show!” They mix covers with original music and are a high demand children’s act in North Carolina, playing nearly 30 shows a month in the spring and summer.
Established in 2007, Big Bang Boom has released two albums and been invited to play large events like Lollapalooza, the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF), Musikfest, and the NASCAR Coca Cola 600 Festival. They also have made numerous morning television appearances, and routinely play at libraries, schools, and other events around the Carolinas. In addition the band holds the two week long “Big Bang Boom Rock Star Music Camp” over the summer.
The performance was the first in two months of events the library has planned to offer parents a way to keep children enetertained and engaged over the summer. Upcoming events include arts and craft expos, comedy shows, family nights, star labs and teen reading afternoons.
Kids sign up for summer reading activities based on different age groups and have the chance to win weekly prizes. In addition they volunteer around the library. The library was bustling with youngsters Tuesday, but sign up is still open for interested parents and their children.
The library has special events planned most days Tuesday-Friday through the end of July. In addition they also have story time daily at 11 a.m. and “baby lap time” Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. The library is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A full schedule is available at the library, located at 140 Queen St., or on its website, www.arlibrary.com. More information is also available on their Facebook page, or you can call the library at (828) 264- 8784.
Photos by Greg Hince