It’s a wiggly party, and everybody’s invited.

Get ready for The Wiggles’ Party Time Tour in Pueblo, with a band that’s been stealing the hearts of children and parents alike since 1991, making it one of the longest-lasting children’s entertainment groups.

“I think that was really the initial shock when we were asked to be Wiggles. Myself, Simon and Lachy, we really knew that we had to uphold quite a reputation for such big children’s music legends,” says Emma Watkins, the new face of the Yellow Wiggle.

The Wiggles’ music has become a multigenerational experience. Children who watched the band in its first years now are sharing the music with their children. Over 26 years, the group has touched young hearts across the world, and now the mantle passes to the next generation of performers and audience members.

Watkins says, “It’s really a generational phenomena, where the songs are catchy and they’re from people’s childhoods. Lots of people sing along at the shows because they remember the good times they had when they were little.”

But Watkins and new band members Lachland Gillespie and Simon Pryce are not trying to become the mirror images of their predecessors. Instead, they are using this opportunity to make the role their own.

Under the guidance of co-founder and Blue Wiggle Anthony Field, they seem to have succeeded.

“We didn’t really want to be karaoke Wiggles,” Watkins says. “We knew that it wouldn’t work unless we were involved 100%, and if we weren’t bringing our own passions and interests to the character of being a Wiggle.”

The secret to the band’s longevity? It’s the language they use to relate to children, she says. Three of the founders attended college for childhood development and used that knowledge to create a relaxed, respectful show.

“The Wiggles really have focused on what is exciting in a child’s world and making things in their world become clear to them through entertainment, education and through the use of play. That language of talking to children is quite specific to the Wiggles,” says Watkins.

And while they work to look at the world through a child’s eyes, they are mindful of the world they present to kids.

“It’s such an interesting perspective for children because they find everything in the world to be quite interesting, and that’s what we’re constantly looking at — what’s interesting from a child’s perspective. We would like to encourage a pro-social world, where children are able to see differences in others and to celebrate those differences,” says Watkins.

The Wiggles take the stage at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Pueblo Memorial Hall.

Watkins says, “We love being able to see friendly, familiar faces and families that watched the original Wiggles and now come to watch the new incarnation of the Wiggle lineup.”

Kate Powell, The Gazette,

kate.powell@gazette.com

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