MerleFest enthusiasts often comment that they truly enjoy the family atmosphere of the festival. The Little Pickers have as much fun as the big pickers. One reason kids have so much fun at MerleFest is the presence of the Little Pickers tents and activities which are designed for the enjoyment of children. The 4-H Explorer Club of Wilkes helps children have fun and be creative. Dawn Ward, a volunteer club leader explains, "Club members help MerleFest visitors in the Little Pickers area make beaded bracelets and necklaces. All crafts and other activities in this area are free. The entire area is very family-friendly and is open to guests of all ages." Not only do the 4-H youth help out, but their parents also get involved. Their work at MerleFest is particularly appealing to the group because the 4-H program emphasizes community service.
Ms. Ward says, "The donation which the MerleFest organization makes to our club provides our entire annual budget. We much prefer serving the public at MerleFest to other methods of fundraising."
The 4-H youth enjoy showing hospitality to visitors from many different places. They represent their club, community, and county well. Ms. Ward continues, "Serving others is the greatest benefit that 4-H members receive from our MerleFest experience. We also get to tell visitors about 4-H and the sorts of programs modern 4-H clubs offer. Parents and grandparents regularly tell us that the Little Pickers area and the friendliness of the volunteers in this area are some of the most attractive aspects of the festival."
Thank you 4-H youth, parents, and leaders for making MerleFest such an exciting event for all those Little Pickers. A successful MerleFest depends on volunteers like you.