hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

News

May 15, 2014

'Farming out' KidsFEST

Event moves to Kimball Farm

HAVERHILL — During the 1990s, Haverhill’s annual KidsFEST packed downtown streets on a weekend in May with children and their parents enjoying pony and wagon rides, petting zoos, carnival games, band performances and carnival food while also shopping for arts and crafts.

But it fizzled out in 2004. After city event coordinator Laurie Chase died on New Year’s Day, 2006, after a lengthy battle with cancer, the city revived the fun family event she’d helped coordinate each year.

KidsFEST moved around to various downtown locations, including Railroad Square, then in 2012 it was moved to the upper deck of the Merrimack Street parking garage. Last year it returned to downtown streets, but this year it’s been moved out of the center of town to rural Kimball Farm in the eastern part of the city on May 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kimball Farm, 791 East Broadway.

Rain date is Sunday, May 25, same times.

Organizers of one of Haverhill’s biggest social events of the year say that by moving KidsFEST 2014 out of the downtown to a local farm, they can offer different activities than in past versions of the family festival, while bringing people of all ages closer to nature.

Outside food and beverages, dogs, skateboards and bicycles will not be permitted.

Admission is free, however, a fee of $2 per car to park at the farm will defray staffing costs, while additional parking proceeds will be donated to a local charity, organizers said.

Organizers say they carefully considered and debated the use of shuttles to bring more people to the event, but the cost of the busing service and the associated liability expense and exposure made it an impossibility on the limited budget they have to produce the event, they said.

“Since the event is run completely by volunteers and by the generosity of private business sponsors, we have to weigh carefully each decision we make from a financial and logistical perspective,” said Chamber Vice President Jennifer Cantwell.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
  • 140808_HG_HAND_CUTTING

    Attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Marjorie Goudreault walkway are, from left, Elizabeth Delgado, special assistant to Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera; John Dimitry, former NECC president, and his wife, Audrey; Steven Buturlia of Pelham; Kelsy Buturlia of Pelham; Barbara Goudreault of Haverhill; Christopher Goudreault of Haverhill; Mary Goudreault of Tewksbury; Bill Moynihan of Haverhill, chair of NECC's Board of Trustees; Julie Reynolds of Middleton, N.H.; Patrick Goudreault of Haverhill; Matthew Goudreault of Haverhill; Lynn Morton of Tucson, AZ; Ann Corey of Atkinson; and NECC President Lane Glenn.

    'She was passionate about what she believed' Posted 5 days ago 2 Photos
  • The city wants you Posted 5 days ago
  • 140811_HG_CRU_HOSPITALS

    Joseph Roach is the new CEO and President for Holy Family Hospital in Methuen and Holy Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley in Haverhill. He is standing in front of the hospital located in Haverhill. CARL RUSSO/Staff photo

    No, you're not in Methuen Posted 5 days ago 1 Photo
  • The Lamp Post Posted 5 days ago
  • 140725_HG_ASW_BEST MANICURE 2

    AMY SWEENEY/Staff photoRoyal Nails and Spa offers the best manicure, according to a vote by readers of the Gazette.

    More than just a mani-pedi Posted 5 days ago 2 Photos
  • 140717_HG_MSC_BURGER_3

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo The Lasting Room burger with hand-cut fries is a favorite of customers.

    Lasting Room burgers make for lasting impressions Posted 5 days ago 3 Photos
  • SCHOOL SUPPLIES3 [Duplicate]

    AP Photo/Yoobi Yoobi Pretzel Erasers make going back to school fun.

    Sharpening up for class Posted 5 days ago 8 Photos
  • FILE_HAVBEST_4

    Staff file photo Buffalo boneless ribeye steak is offered at Haverhill Beef Company on Merrimack Street. Here, owner Peter Carbone holds a tray of freshly cut pieces.

    Get far more than beef at Haverhill Beef Posted 5 days ago 3 Photos
  • HAVBEST_PBI_HEAVNLY

    PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo Elaine Saragas serves coffee at Heav'nly Donuts.

    Best coffee brewing at Heav'nly Donuts Posted 5 days ago 1 Photo
  • HAVBEST_PBI_PENTUCKET

    PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo Pentucket Bank President Scott Cote, left, and financial adviser Kevin McKinnon talk in the main lobby of the bank's Merrimack Street branch.

    Pentucket Bank is tops Posted 5 days ago 1 Photo

Photos of the Week
Stocks