Published on April 22nd, 2014 | by Alyssa Barker
Child of the Sun Festival and 5K run benefits local children’s program
The Child of the Sun Music Festival and 5K Run, hosted by the Lakeland Rotary Club, is an annual event that happens every April around Lake Mirror.
The first Child of the Sun was held at Florida Southern in 1988, and featured a variety of different jazz acts.
According to the Child of the Sun website, this year the committee wanted a mix of blues and Americana as well as the traditional jazz.
This year, the music festival featured a variety of acts, such as the Florida Southern Jazz Band and Lakeland’s own Brian Sutherland Band.
The six bands started to preform around 3 p.m. Saturday April 5, and ended around 10 p.m. Each band was given an hour set.
Friends of Fil was a first-timer to the festival. The jazz trio preformed a set of upbeat jazz songs the whole crowd enjoyed listening to.
Rebekah Pulley and the Reluctant Prophets was an Americana band that showed the newer side of the Child of the Sun festival. Front-runner Rebekah Pauley’s sultry voice captured the attention of the crowd.
Local food vendors were scattered around the stage. Spectators were encouraged to enjoy a taste of Lakeland while listening to the music.
The festival also featured a 5K race through Downtown Lakeland. The race started at Lake Mirror and continued through nearby neighborhoods and around Lake Morton.
Normally, there is a triathlon held at the festival. Because of scheduling conflicts with other races and triathlons, the committee decided to just hold the 5K race.
There were three races for children to participate in during the festival. The Long-Leg Loop was a 1K race for children ages 7-12, the Lickity-Split Quick Sprint was a .5k for children ages 4-6 and the Diaper Dash was a 25 yard race for children ages 3 and under. All races were held around Lake Mirror.
All proceeds of the event went to the Learn to Swim Program, a program designed to teach children the basis of swimming. The program is currently available to kindergarten students at local elementary schools.