Family fun at the Central Alberta Children’s Festival

The sixth annual Central Alberta Children’s Festival runs this Friday and Saturday and offers entertainment for the kid in everyone.

Valdene Callin, manager of community relations with Family Services of Central Alberta, said the event is not just for children up to a certain age, but for the parents as well.

“We all have such pressures in our lives so for that moment at the Festival we just hope you leave that all behind. We want the adults to get in and get their faces painted and show their children that they still have that little kid inside.”

The event costs $5 per person or $15 for a family of four and Callin said that is a reflection of the great support the event receives from the community.

“This all came to be when we found a gap in the community for a Festival that was low cost and all inclusive, and that kids of all ages could take part in.”

The cost covers all events inside the gates as well as snacks. Water is also provided on site to those who bring their own reusable water bottles.

Some of the things to do at the festival include the bubble jump, which is a large sheet of cardboard with bubble wrap on it. “Who doesn’t enjoy at the end of the week jumping on and popping bubbles?”

One attraction that Callin said has had great popularity is The Box City, which has returned year after year. The Box City allows people to paint on cardboard boxes, which get added into a collective “city” of boxes over the course of the two-day festival. “Some people build skyscrapers while others make little houses.

“What we try to showcase at the festival are things that parents can do at home too and the fact that the best teacher a child will ever have is their own parent. We don’t want to do things here that they could never recreate.

“We want them to come and get lost at the Festival. If that means they spend all day in one place then that’s fine. Everything in life is so scheduled this is just a chance for families to spend time together and slow down.”

The Festival is held at Rotary Recreation Park and runs from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday.

“The passes are good for the weekend though so families can do some on Friday and some on Saturday. If your child has a meltdown or the weather isn’t ideal, go home and regroup and come back the next day.”

Callin also said an event that has grown in popularity since the Festival’s inception is the Friday night barbeque. It is included in the admission fee and provides burgers and pop to those who attend.

“The Children’s Festival is about bringing the community together because it’s the community’s festival, not ours. What makes it unique is that it’s about having fun, not spending money.”

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