There’s something new and exciting about KidsFEST this year. The annual family fun festival has been moved out of Haverhill’s downtown to a more rural setting.

The new location at Kimball Farm, 791 East Broadway, gives festival organizers more room and an opportunity to offer new and different events to attendees.

“We are convinced that the new lush venue of Kimball Farm will expose residents from all parts of Haverhill to an experience they have never had before at KidsFEST,” Jennifer Cantwell, vice president of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, told our reporter.

KidsFEST is scheduled for May 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The rain date is Sunday, May 25, same times. Admission is free, however, a fee of $2 per car to park at the farm will defray staffing costs.

There is some concern that inner-city children will find it difficult to get to the new, rural location. As this was being written, city officials were working on setting up a shuttle bus from downtown to Kimball Farm. That’s a good idea and should resolve any issues of access.

KidsFEST will feature old-fashioned “field day” activities such as water balloon tossing, parachute play and potato-sack races, as well as bigger and more exciting additions like sumo wrestling and a Velcro wall jump. Chamber President Sven Amirian said these are all possible due to the change in venue.

Other features will include the Haverhill Junior and Senior Idol singing competitions, a giant mural art project, gladiator jousting, obstacle course, relay races and more.

“KidsFEST is truly a demonstration of how the chamber and its members work together to produce a community event that benefits Haverhill and the surrounding towns that the chamber serves,” Amirian told reporter Mike LaBella. “Not a dime of municipal money goes to subsidize this event, so we are deeply grateful to our generous chamber sponsors and volunteers who make this event possible.”

Sponsors of the event include Trinity EMS, Merrimack Valley Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, Pentucket Medical Associates, Wilson Design, Pentucket Bank, Align Credit Union, Haverhill Family Eyecare PC, Haverhill Police Department, HC Media, Kimball Farm, Event Partners LLC, Pine Brook Place, and the Haverhill Cultural Council.

Kimball Farm owner Tyler Kimball said hosting the event at his farm will help Haverhill kids learn there is a way of life outside the city.

“At KidsFEST, people will see the fields, but the event itself does not have a farm theme,” Kimball said. “We’ll have some animals on display, such as goats, cows and draft horses which we use for jobs on the farm as well as for hayrides in the fall.”

KidsFEST has long been a great Haverhill family tradition. This year, the new venue provides a great opportunity to expand the festival’s scope.

We thank the sponsors and organizers and hope many turn out for a great day at KidsFEST.

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