If you go

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - NEWS - Con­tact the writer: pwild­ing@ timessham­rock.com; 570-3489100, ext. 5369

What: In­clu­sion Fes­ti­val

When: Satur­day and Sun­day; gates open daily at 9 a.m.; work­shops and ac­tiv­i­ties held 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; out­door mu­sic per­formed 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Where: Moun­tain Sky, 63 Still Meadow Lane, Scott Town­ship, Lack­awanna County

De­tails: Ad­vance ad­mis­sion rates are $50 for adults and $25 for ages 13 to 21 for week­end passes; sin­gle-day passes cost $30 for adults and $15 for ages 13 to 21. Days of the fes­ti­val, ad­mis­sion costs $60 for adults and $30 for ages 13 to 21 for week­end passes; sin­gle-day passes cost $35 for adults and $18 for ages 13 to 21. Chil­dren 12 and younger en­ter for free.

For more in­for­ma­tion, email in­clu­sion­fes­ti­val@

gmail.com or visit

in­clu­sion­fes­ti­val.com or the Face­book event page. the first fes­ti­val made with that ex­act mis­sion in mind.

“I kind of feel I was put on the planet to work with peo­ple with spe­cial needs,” said Pin­der, who holds a mas­ter’s de­gree in speech-lan­guage pathol­ogy. “I in­cor­po­rate yoga, circus art and singing in my ther­apy with kids and adults. It’s about find­ing uni­ver­sal themes for all dis­abil­i­ties, and this was in­formed by all the festivals I loved go­ing to.”

“I ended up at the venue last year,” said Bar­ron, who at­tended Univer­sity of Scran­ton and has worked in a self-con­tained autism class and as a yoga in­struc­tor fo­cused on teach­ing peo­ple with spe­cial needs. “As soon as I landed at Moun­tain Sky, I felt val­i­da­tion (that) this was the place for this event.”

Among the 20 ex­pected ven­dors for In­clu­sion Fes­ti­val, guests will find crafts and healthy food as well as in­for­ma­tion pro­mot­ing lo­cal ser­vices to con­nect fam­i­lies with lo­ca­tions and peo­ple they can ac­cess through­out the year.

“We hope to im­pact peo­ple and let them take home tan­gi­ble strate­gies far be­yond the fes­ti­val,” Pin­der said.

Daily work­shops in­clude drum­ming, hula-hoop­ing, in­clu­sive art, mind­ful draw­ing, in­ter­ac­tive theater, whole-body per­cus­sion and mu­sic ther­apy. There will be pup­pet shows; yoga; a skit per­formed by adults with dis­abil­i­ties from the Gath­er­ing Place in Clarks Sum­mit, which will be­come an in­ter­ac­tive work­shop; plus teams of sign-lan­guage in­ter­preters and speech-lan­guage ther­a­pists on hand.

Among the mu­si­cal acts are head­liner EmiSun­shine, a 13-year-old multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist who be­came a YouTube sen­sa­tion and per­formed on NBC’s “Lit­tle Big Shots” and “To­day”; Brady Rymer, a chil­dren’s artist who wrote an al­bum specif­i­cally for kids with autism; the Merry Rock­ers, com­prised of mu­si­cians from Berklee Col­lege of Mu­sic and fea­tur­ing a lead singer with cere­bral palsy; plus the Hop­pin’ Box­cars, whose three al­bums, when per­formed si­mul­ta­ne­ously, cre­ate a “deci­bel opera” based on the 1890s rail­road era that fea­tures 25 to 30 peo­ple in cos­tume and with props.

In­clu­sion Fes­ti­val also will of­fer four des­ig­nated sen­sory zones to fa­cil­i­tate re­lax­ation and play. One will fo­cus on mu­sic, an­other on yoga and mind­ful­ness, and a third on art and play, while the fourth calls for breath­ing and re­lax­ation and offers mas­sages.

Camp­ing is in­cluded in ad­mis­sion, and reser­va­tions in des­ig­nated room blocks at nearby ho­tels will earn guests a free shut­tle to the fes­ti­val. Each facet of the ac­com­mo­da­tions put in place for the event was done to make it invit­ing to all so it can con­tinue lo­cally and through­out other states.

“We’re hop­ing fam­i­lies with neu­rotyp­i­cal chil­dren will come to the fes­ti­val, too,” Bar­ron said.

“Our phi­los­o­phy is shar­ing space to­gether — in­clu­sion,” Pin­der said. “It’s go­ing to be an amaz­ing venue to meet peo­ple and see how we can sup­port one an­other and how we all add value.”

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