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A member of the Suburban Gypsies talks with a young visitor during a previous Arts Alive! event.

Kids and families are invited to try their hands at watercolor painting, pick up an instrument or two and take in performances from a variety of local musicians and dance troupes during Arts Alive!, which is happening this weekend at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

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Ballerinas enjoy Arts Alive! vendors after a  performance.

Arts Alive! is a free, family-friendly arts festival presented by the Prince William County Arts Council and the Hylton Performing Arts Center. 

“This highly anticipated annual community event celebrates the diversity and excellence of visual, literary, and performing artists and ensembles from the Greater Prince William Area,” according to a news release.

Music, theater and dance performances will be held at the main stage Merchant Hall, the smaller Gregory Family Theater and on two outdoor stages situated on the lawn. 

The visual arts showcase, with original paintings, coloring books, photography and quilts, will be on display in the Didlake Grand Foyer. 

In addition to hands-on activities for kids and adults -- including the ever-popular instrument petting zoo -- local artisans will sell jewelry, pottery and other arts-related wares. Local authors and poets will present readings from their works.

Food trucks will offer up some of the best local cuisines and sweets for participants to purchase. 

The event will take place Sunday, Sept. 15 from 1 to 5 p.m., at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, located on the George Mason University’s Science and Technology Campus, 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas. 

Free parking is available in the Tower Lot behind the Hylton Center.

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