By Merle Exit
The first volley may not happen until Monday, but the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center will be abuzz Saturday at its annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.
Billed as the largest, single-day tennis and entertainment event in the world, Kids Day includes performances by pop music stars, appearances by celebrities and tennis demonstrations by world-class players.
A mix of free and ticketed events, the Flushing Meadows Corona Park tennis center opens at 9:30 a.m. for three hours of family activities and interactive games.
There will be face painting, juggling workshops, hair beading and braiding, story telling and balloon artists.
Nickelodeon stars Spongebob and his buddy Patrick as well as Dora and Diego will be dropping by for a visit.
Youth tennis activities challenging young players’ abilities will be held at various courts around the complex.
But if you are in the mood for some professional racketing, you can check out the players practicing in the Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand and Court 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Vitoria Azarenka are all expected to get a workout.
The Hess Express Stage will have a free concert from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Talent includes pop-rock band Hollywood Ending, singers Kalin and Myles, Zach Matari, Karina Rae and The Bomb Digz.
Ticket holders will get a chance to catch four-time Grammy-award nominee Hunter Hayes perform his brand of Nashville-style country. Other acts appearing include MKTO, The Vamps, Shawn Mendes, McClain, Madison Beer, DJ Salerno, China Anne McClain, Nickelodeon’s Jeff Sutphen and fitness expert Shaun T.
Kids Day celebrating the life and values of tennis legend and humanitarian Arthur Ashe.
For more information go to www.arthurashekidsday.com