First, it was haiku. Now, it’s rap.
“The Picnic has to change. How else can it grow?” says its chief organizer, Kumaglak Nanuq Polar Bear.
Nanuq, who took over this year from Seymour K. Worthington Polar Bear, has a long-term plan for the Picnic. And rap is just the beginning.
“I reached out to Jargonhead first. I said we need you to come on board this year. And he didn’t hesitate. But not only did he not hesitate, he stepped up and brought us Will.o.be., GCH…even the Tweeters. He was amazing.”
A very grateful Nanuq gave them free rein, so he has no idea what they will perform.
“The only thing I told them…I said I love your music, but this is still a poetry festival, so maybe tone it down a bit,” he says.
But rap isn’t the only change attendees will see this Sunday.
“Not everything is different, but most of it is,” Nanuq says. “We’ve kept the best of our traditions but we’ve thrown out everything else.”
Still, there’s one thing Nanuq admits he has no control over: the weather. According to the forecast, Sunday’s event will be a pretty chilly one.
“There is the risk of frozen nose syndrome, but we hope there’ll be plenty to keep you warm enough to avoid it,” he says.
The Polar Bears’ Poetry Picnic, which is in its 21st year, will begin at 10:00 a.m. Park time on Sunday, March 20.