hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

April 4, 2013

KidsFEST 2013 set for May 5

Theme is 'The Wizard of Oz'

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce will present KidsFEST on May 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Haverhill.

This year’s theme is “The Wizard of Oz’’ and the event is being held in partnership with Merrimack Valley Hospital and Trinity EMS. KidsFEST, the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire’s leading family friendly event, is geared toward children.

This year the upper deck of the Merrimack Street parking garage will be transformed into the Emerald City, complete with a field of poppies, a hot air balloon, a yellow brick road and many more hidden surprises, according to Jennifer Connolly of the KidsFEST Committee.

A Wizard of Oz Munchkin Parade will start the day’s events and replaces the KidsFEST Doll Parade. Children are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Wizard of Oz character, while bringing a doll or teddy bear. The first-place winner of the Munchkin Parade will receive a $75 gift certificate to Build-a-Bear, and all children will receive a ribbon for their participation.

KidsFEST is made possible through the involvement of local businesses. All non-vendor activities at KidsFEST are brought to families free through the support and volunteer efforts of local organizations. Last year, more than 70 vendors participated in the event, with the backing of 50 volunteers. KidsFEST 2012 welcomed a record-breaking 15,000 children and their parents. This year, an additional 2,000 families and 20 added vendors are expected to attend.

Jennifer Cantwell, vice president to the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, expressed her enthusiasm for the upcoming event.

“Last year’s KidsFEST was a game-changer, and we are committed to upping the stakes once again for KidsFEST 2013,’’ she said.

The KidsFEST Committee is accepting additional vendor applications for retail, restaurant, service, non-profit, and youth-focused organizations. To learn more about how your organization can participate in KidsFEST 2013, contact Shannon O’Neil at intlchildcaredirector@verizon.net or by calling 978-869-5232.

KidsFEST 2013 will have a rain date of May 19 on the upper level of the Merrimack Street parking garage.

Admission is free. To learn more about KidsFEST 2013 visit http://www.haverhillchamber.com.