Jacob Reece took to the climbing wall at the 26th Annual Children’s Festival. This year’s events will take place on March 3. (File photo)

Puppets come to life at Children’s Festival in Prince Rupert

The 27th annual festival features Kellie Haines, puppets, a teddy bear clinic and more games

Some new faces will be entertaining the crowds at the 2018 Children’s Festival on March 3.

Kellie Haines, a ventriloquist from Vancouver, brings her posse of puppets to life for two colourful, fun and interactive shows called “Laughing Out Loud”.

Bev Killbery, one of the Prince Rupert Special Events directors, said the shows at 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. are great for kids in Kindergarten all the way through Grade 7. Then at 4 p.m., children ages six to 12 years old have the chance to create their own sock puppet with Haines. After registering (250-624-4678), make sure to bring your own socks, other supplies will be provided.

READ MORE: Special Events numbers drop, but festivals must go on

Highlights of the festival include classic favourites such as, the swirl art, which has been creating colourful masterpieces since the very first Children’s Festival 27 years ago. The Berry Patch, BC Ambulance’s teddy bear clinic and cultural weaving will keep small hands busy.

Carnival treats such as cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones and hot dogs will be served at the canteen for a small price around $2-4. Tim Hortons and Baker Boy are donating doughnuts, and the canteen will also offer a nutritious snack tray with fruits.

“Children’s fest is always a popular event because it always happens the first weekend in March,” Killbery said. “It’s like a pick-me-up after winter.”

Since the festival’s inception, the theme “Growing Together” aims to combine fun and promote local culture and community. Killbery said the special events society achieves this goal by combining educational and creative activities with physical and cultural events.

“Then they can bounce off some energy in the bouncy castle,” Killbery said, adding that there is a $2 ticket for the castle to cover maintenance costs.

Kids may also have the opportunity to climb the wall with the help of experienced climbers. The popular graffiti wall may also return to kids to decorate.

All of the fun will take place at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre on March 3 at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parents must accompany their kids, and entrance is by donation to help cover the entertainer’s fee and supplies for activities.

“It’s a place where they can go and learn something new or try something new,” Killbery said.

READ MORE: Scenes from Children’s Festival 2017


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