Building arts festival to include construction equipment

Where can kids climb aboard a concrete mixer or help build a brick wall while wearing a tot-sized hard hat? The Associated General Contractors is sponsoring the fifth annual Festival of the Building Arts on Sept. 13 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The free event showcases the skills and secrets employed in the craft of building.

The one-day, family-friendly festival will offer participants the chance to work side-by-side with thirty master craftspeople, including bricklayers, blacksmiths, roofers and gilders. Families can watch builders split logs for a cabin and build furniture from tree limbs. The exhibit will include a construction equipment “petting zoo,” where kids can climb aboard and explore everything from a dump truck and an excavator to a concrete mixer. Several other children’s activities will be showcased at the festival, including a “box city” where kids can build a metropolis out of boxes, and a plaster project where participants can create their own plaster cast.

Visitors can seek professional advice from masons, roofers, faux finishers, carpenters, plumbers, decorators and contractors. This Old House general contractor Tom Silva and plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey will also be on hand to discuss their show and offer advice.

“[The festival] offers visitors of all ages the rare opportunity to observe and participate in contemporary building crafts,” said Stephen Sandherr, chief executive of AGC. “It’s a fun-filled day for the entire family and visitors to come away with a better appreciation of the construction industry.”

Two raffles will be held at the event. Adults can win landscaping equipment and home improvement tools. A second raffle will be held for children. Winners will receive t-shirts and toys. All children under the age of 12 will receive a bright yellow plastic hard hat, courtesy of AGC. For more information about the festival, click on the link to the right.