CEDAR CITY, Utah - Thousands of kids celebrated a birthday in Cedar City on Friday, but the guest of honor was only there in spirit.
William Shakespeare was born at the end of April 449 years ago, so Southern Utah University invited kids to a fun and educational party.
"It's just a really great opportunity for them to learn this whole exciting life of Shakespeare and everything he's brought to our culture now," said improv instructor Wendy Penrod.
Teachers say the field trip is one their students look forward to all year long.
"They do such a good job with the kids. And the kids, when they think about kindergarten, they think about coming to eat cake with the queen, and what it was like to joust," said kindergarten teacher Sherilyn Wright.
William Shakespeare has a strong influence in Cedar City, so it's no surprise they throw him a big birthday bash. But organizers say it's more than a party; it's a great way for kids to get on stage and have first-hand experirence performing.
"They love to tap into that part of themselves so easily. So they really get a chance to learn some things and have a lot of fun. There could be future actors or dancers or teachers who come out of this," Penrod said.
The celebration leads up to the opening of the annual Utah Shakespearean Festival in June.