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Kidsfest brings family entertainment

by Olivia Kucsik, [email protected] | May 25, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Missouri River Regional Library had several activities during a prior KidsFest at Ellis-Porter Riverside Park in Jefferson City. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune file photo)

School is out for kids, which means finding summer entertainment is on their parents.

Next week, parents need look no further than Kidsfest.

Sponsored by Jefferson City Department of Parks & Recreation and Forestry Department, KRCG and Healthy Blue, the free event aims to have entertainment that reflects what the greater area has to offer.

Kidsfest will run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 3 at Ellis-Porter Riverside Park, 320 Ellis Porter Drive. Updates, maps, and schedules can be found on the JC Parks Facebook page.

Phil Stiles, organizer for Kidsfest, has gotten to watch the growth of the event throughout his 37-year career with JC Parks.

"This event has really evolved over the years," Stiles said. "We have been able to expand the event, which allows people to enjoy it more."

Interested in athletics, animals or airborne vehicles? Kidsfest will have it.

There are extensive activities that will be available for all ages, including petting zoos, pony rides, kayaking and canoeing.

Performances held on the amphitheater stage will range from a routine by the Mid MO Conservatory of Dance to a demonstration by the Art of Martial Arts and a presentation by the Council for Drug Free Youth.

Other avenues for kids to get involved will be made available during the event. Athletes from Lincoln University men's basketball team will have information on their summer camp and details will be displayed on JC Parks's day camps, swim lessons and youth sports.

"People are always surprised about what JC Parks has to offer," Stiles said. "Kidsfest provides an opportunity for people to learn about what is going on in the community, in summer and also year-round."

  photo  The Bubble Bus was a popular attraction during a previous KidsFest at Ellis-Porter Riverside Park. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)

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