It’s no joke — Just Kiddin’ will be playing a holiday concert at Tec Voc High School in an attempt to save a long-standing tradition.
Just Kiddin’ is a band that sings and plays children’s songs. The group is comprised of four men: Garth Nosworthy, Paul Cerilli, Mike Przednowek, and Craig Buckboro.
The band is slated to perform a concert called "Santa Presents: Keeping the Tradition Alive" at Tec Voc (1555 Wall St.) on Dec. 14. The show begins at 11 a.m.
Just Kiddin’ performed concerts at the Paddlewheel Restaurant from 1995 to 2012 for the annual Breakfast with Santa event. For the past three years, the band experienced a lot of uncertainty about their staying power.
"Every year, it became a question of if it was going to continue," Nosworthy, a Charleswood resident, said. "There was always that foreboding that the Paddlewheel was going to close and the tradition would end."
In the end, the Paddlewheel Restaurant did close, and Just Kiddin’ performed what they thought would be their final show for Breakfast with Santa. But their loyal fans wanted to see more of them.
"We were approached by most of the people to try and find another venue and go from there," Nosworthy said.
Nosworthy spoke with his friends and Tec Voc staff members Nicole Bouchard and Carey Lauder who suggested he do the event at the school’s theatre.
"We thought, ‘Let’s give it a shot,’" Nosworthy said.
"Tec Voc is really excited to be involved in this," Bouchard said.
Nosworthy said he enjoys catering to the children with music because their reactions are genuine.
"They’ll hug you and tell you they love you, or tell you, ‘That’s not very good,’" Nosworthy explained. "It was kind of a niche market that we found was fun."
Nosworthy said the concert is expected to serve several purposes: to keep the tradition alive, to allow people who had attended previous concerts at The Bay the chance to see the concert and relive their past, and to possibly start a new tradition by having the concert at a different venue.
"Or, if nothing else, to bring a formal end to what has been a tradition for these people for 45 years," Nosworthy said.
Tickets are available for purchase at the school from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Contact Carey Lauder at 204-786-1401, ext. 155. Those interested can also arrange for payment and pickup at Tec Voc the day of the concert if they cannot buy tickets beforehand. To do so, visit justkiddininc.com
For more information about the band, visit its website or call 204-771-5684.