The annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation celebrated the start of the U.S. Open with a full-day tennis and music festival for families on Saturday, August 24th. This year, for the first time courtesy of the USTA Foundation, general admission promenade seats for the concert were free of charge.
We already told you about the event, now let’s tell you about the people.
For 22 years, tennis and music stars alike lined the court in the children-filled Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, Queens. And for those 22 years, the stars brought entertainment to those kids and also motivated them to stay active and continue pursuing their goals despite whatever adversity they may face, a la Arthur Ashe legacy.
This year is no different. On August 26, tennis greats Venus Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Angelique Kerber joined the ranks of such musical talents like Why Don’t We, Jack & Jack, New Hope Club, and more. Alex Aiono and Sofia Carson showed off their hosting and singing abilities, while the interviews they shared with music star Spencer Sutherland and Saving Forever proved to be extremely delightful.
Young tennis hopefuls from across America braved New York City’s humid air and stormed the Microsoft Word blue court at Arthur Ashe Stadium, where they were met with particularly difficult challenges testing their tennis aims. The young adult that advanced from this series of backhand and forehand targets then went on to play against the household tennis names above, showing Federer, Williams, current U.S. Open champ Kerber, and Nadal who’s boss.
That was a lot of fun. Especially since the kid outplayed some of the pros– who really can’t say they were letting him win.
Previous musical acts included Austin Mahone, Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepson and even The Wanted, while tennis stars like Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Andy Roddick showed their faces. Arthur Ashe Kids Day isn’t limited to only musical acts and athletes in tennis; First Lady Michelle Obama once gave an inspiring speech to all children that they should follow in Arthur Ashe’s footsteps and maintain a healthy lifestyle while staying active in any sport they chose– and swimming great Missy Franklin reminded them that sports didn’t have to include a net or racket.
Kids certainly listened to the similar message asked of them Saturday. With activities like face painting and hair braiding, to people making balloon animals and holding juggling workshops, children were invited to participate in a plethora of events that motivated them to stay out in the summer sun. Races and dance competitions only kept the already active children even more so, and provided for great laughs and family fun.
The ceremony itself proved to be an entertaining show within a show. Watching Carson and Aiono read over lines and seeing Jack & Jack jumping over the net proved to be an event in itself. Also shocking is the fan base these musical acts have, and how ardent they are in not only attaining a selfie or autograph, but screaming behind their performances, resulting in security standing between them and the camera interviewing their favorite celebs. Don’t worry– every little 12 year-old was awarded with a hug from their favorite singer in the end.
Arthur Ashe Kids Day didn’t let down with the events and show, and still provided great motivation for people of all ages to stay active and truly take care of themselves. Check out our next post with interviews with some of the stars at Kids Day!