The inaugural YouthFest, an outdoor family event organized by the Monadnock Youth Coalition, will be held Sunday, Oct. 10, at Lane Fields, 120 South Road in Swanzey. It will run from 1 to 5 p.m.

The event is designed by youths, intended for youths and will largely be run by youths in Keene and Swanzey. Free of charge and planned for the heart of foliage season, it will feature an array of activities geared toward local young people and their families.

The day will include live music from youth performers (and a music-making workshop from local hip-hop artist Adam Arnone), dancing, art workshops, food, storytelling, 4H projects, raffles and other activities.

But YouthFest is more than a Sunday afternoon family outing. The Monadnock Youth Coalition consists of a group of local teens who are committed to rallying against substance misuse. The coalition’s mission is to create a nurturing, inclusive community for youth to learn, grown, build resiliency and make healthy life choices in the Monadnock Region, and Youthfest is intended to bring awareness to that objective.

In that light, the day will include more than a dozen youth-serving organizations that will be on hand to provide information about their youth and family programs. The list includes the Keene Family YMCA, the umbrella organization for the Monadnock Youth Coalition.

Also planning to be at YouthFest are representatives from the Takodah Y, city of Keene and town of Swanzey, The Field House at Homestead Mills, 4-H clubs, the United Church of Christ and Monadnock Crisis and Prevention Center. Also, the Cheshire County Tobacco Free Communities, MoCo Arts, New Futures, The Samaritans based in Keene, Head Start and Monadnock Family Services.


Arnone will be on hand from 2 to 4 p.m. with a mobile recording studio to help youth create and record their own music on the spot. Bring your instrument, voice and talent, and go home with your first professional recording.

Several organizations will be offering raffles.

4-H will be doing arts and craft projects for everyone from 1 to 5 p.m.

New futures will be holding a drop-in storytelling workshop from 1 to 5 p.m.

N.H. Dance Institute based in Keene will be offering two “pop-up” family dance jams open to all at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

A DJ will be on hand the entire afternoon.

The youth coalition and the Y will offer a variety of family field games from 4 to 5 p.m.

Refreshments will be available including products from Kona Ice, free snacks from the coalition and a bake sale run by Keene High School Interact.