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Airdrie Children's Festival expands to two days

Juno-nominated children's performers Bobs & LoLo will return to Nose Creek Park June 1 for the second annual Airdrie Children's Festival, along with a full slate of performers and educational workshops. File Photo/Rocky View Publishing

From cupcake-eating contests to cooking classes, the second annual Airdrie Children’s Festival – June 1 and 2 – promises to be a fun and educational day for local kids.

The goal of the festival, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at Nose Creek Park, is “to create curiosity in kids and remove a barrier of fear,” according to Tara Levick, Airdrie Children’s Festival Society board member.

“The whole festival is built on a fun learning component,” she added. “We hope kids walk away with a new skill or a new learning of something they might not have had prior to coming to the festival.”

Last year’s inaugural festival was a roaring success from the organizers’ perspective, drawing approximately 4,000 people to the park, Levick estimated. That success, accompanied by glowing feedback and ample planning time, gave the society the confidence to expand this year’s event to a second day.

“Our plan was to grow organically,” she said. “Last year, we had a lot of people asking if they could come back on Sunday, because they didn’t get through everything.”

Levick said both days of the festival will be nearly identical, but some entertainers and workshops are set for only one of the two days.

“You could come both days and experience something new,” she said.

The Airdrie Children’s Festival features four components, Levick said. The Children’s Village will offer kids a chance to let loose and burn energy playing games and enjoying inflatable structures. Elsewhere in the park, the Inspiration Stations will feature booths for hands-on learning hosted by local business and organizations such as Techmation Electric and Controls, the Calgary Zoo, Long and McQuade, the Glenbow Museum, Cochrane and Area Humane Society, and Structural Chiropractic.

“Most of the groups that were part of it last year told us they wanted to come back,” she said. “They saw value in what was happening and they had a blast. Then we wanted to expand a little bit, so we did seek a few new [groups].”

Families can also enjoy performances at the Entertainment Stage throughout the event. Juno-winning children’s acts Peter Puffin and Juno-nominated duo Bobs & LoLo will return to the park, while the Calgary Children’s Choir and Smilin’ Rylan will take the stage for the first time.

Kids can also take part in off-site workshops around Airdrie – learning about mechanics, writing, broadcasting, pottery and cooking – hosted by local businesses, including All Fitt’s Auto, the Airdrie Food Bank Community Kitchen and Willow ‘n Wool.

 “There is zero cost to go into anything,” Levick said. “You can literally pack a bag, pack a snack and come for the entire day and not spend a dollar.”

There will also be food available for purchase on-site, she noted, thanks to a selection of food trucks.

Unfortunately, the festival will not feature an outdoor movie this year due to sunset times and weather challenges, although organizers hope to bring back the outdoor viewing at next year’s event.

With the festival expanding to two days, Levick said the need for volunteers has increased. Organizers are looking to fill volunteer spots for both days, as well as overnight security. Potential volunteers can sign up online at, and will be contacted with more information.

“If you can give a couple hours, it’s a huge help to us,” she said.

Registration for off-site workshops can also be found on the website, she added, as well as schedules, maps and information about festival.
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