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KidsFest back at Riverside Park this weekend

by Jordan Thornsberry | June 2, 2022 at 3:55 a.m.
Fay Kipp, 7, enjoys a horse ride at KidsFest Saturday, June 5, 2021, at Ellis-Porter Riverside Park. A huge crowd turned out to enjoy the great summer weather. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)

KidsFest and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Days is kicking off summer with a lively day full of games and activities.

The annual event is on tap from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturday at Ellis-Porter Riverside Park, 300 Ellis Porter Drive.

There will be 61 vendors participating in the day of fun, and sponsors for the event include JC Parks, Bass Pro Shops, KRCG-TV and Healthy Blue. Phil Stiles, program manager with the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, said Bass Pro Shops is bringing many interactive games to the park.

The Bubble Bus, a bubble machine company from St. Louis, is also coming to this year's KidsFest. The bus releases thousands of bubbles for children to chase and pop.

"It's always a big attraction," Stiles noted.

KidsFest will also be utilizing the amphitheater stage for performances and holding more activities at Ellis-Porter Riverside Pool.

An exciting new addition to this year's lineup is the Kansas City Chiefs' training lab. Inside the mobile trailer are many interactive features that aim to help visitors understand the importance of their mental, physical and social health. There are screens that show exercises viewers can do at home and teach them how they can eat healthier.

"It gives kids an idea of how to maintain healthy lifestyles and how to remain active," Stiles said.

And there's more: With the training lab will be the Chiefs' famed mascot, KC Wolf, and some Kansas City Chiefs cheerleaders.

This year's food vendor lineup is just as exciting as the entertainment.

Whether visitors are craving street tacos, popcorn to snack on or a cold treat to cool off, KidsFest will have something for everyone. This year's food vendors include Big Hungry Patty Wagon, Rebel Tacos, Alibi Cookies, Fresh Lemonade Co., MidMoSno, Ready Popped Kettle Corn & More, RJ's Real Italian Ice and Jefferson City's Snow Biz.

Other vendors and activity highlights include pony rides, a free petting zoo, MidMoMagicShow, Circus Kaput, Wonders of Wildlife, MU Air Medical Helicopter, and the Jefferson City Fire and Police departments.

Stiles said all activities at KidsFest are free, but there will be some vendors selling items.

"This event is open to anybody and everybody," he said. "It's an event that has been going on for well over 30 years, and it is a great way to kick off summer and show the attendees what there is to do in Jefferson City."

  photo  The Bubble Bus was a popular attraction at KidsFest Saturday, June 5, 2021 at Ellis-Porter Riverside Park. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
  photo  Missouri River Regional Library had several activities at KidsFest Saturday, June 5, 2021, at Ellis-Porter Riverside Park. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
  photo  Bentley, 4, and Winston, 2, enjoy their frozen treats in the shade Saturday, June 5, 2021, at KidsFest at Ellis-Porter Riverside Park. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)

Print Headline: KidsFest back at Riverside Park this weekend


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