Kids try out new sports at WISC's 13th annual Family Festival

Staff writer

Hundreds of families from around the Peninsula came to the Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex for its 13th annual Family Festival on Saturday.

Once a year, WISC opens up all of its programs — including recreational gymnastics, soccer, dance and martial arts — for people to experience for free.

The three-hour event also featured 27 local business vendors and seven different food vendors, said Director Natalie Barnett. Children could enjoy a variety of activities including a bounce house, petting zoo, dunk tank and a look inside a James City County fire truck.

“We wanted to do an event that was for the community because we are all about family,” Barnett said. “We have so much to offer and we wanted to be able to give back to the community that has made us so successful.”

All money raised from raffles at the event will be donated to Heritage Humane Society.

The complex also highlighted its new fitness academy, which offers classes such as yoga and CrossFit. Attendees could also register for the complex’s preschool and before and after school programs.

“It has something for everybody, which is what our facility is about,” Barnett said. “We are fun, convenient, value and quality all under one roof. And it’s air-conditioned.”

Gymnastics Team Director Faith McAndrews said the event helps her athletes showcase their talents and creates interest for WISC’s recreational gymnastics program. During the event, children were able to take turns flipping and tumbling on gymnastic mats.

“We get to show off our athletes and their talents and it’s just another avenue where it’s non-competitive, where they can have fun and good team camaraderie and just share our love of the sport,” McAndrews said.

Competitive Team Gymnastics has tryouts on Aug. 26, and WISC’s Tidewater Sharks soccer club — which welcomes all ages — has tryouts on Aug. 23.

Williamsburg resident Ben Knecht brought his whole family to the event. All of his children went to preschool at the facility, he said.

“Our kids, one of them goes to preschool here and my daughter and older son, they both go to summer camp here,” Knecht said. “We’ve been to the event in the past. It’s fun, there’s a lot of activities for kids to do. He was just playing Twister — WISC has good facilities so the kids can run around here.”

Want to know more?

For information on WISC memberships, registration and events, call 757-253-1947 or email Jennifer Berberich at

SaraRose Martin,, 757-243-3685, @SaraRoseMartin.

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