600 people with small feet and 12 or less birthdays under their belts descended on downtown Bangor around this time last year, for a day of fun, music, fun, learning and, oh yeah, more fun. The second annual Kid Central Festival is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 19, and features free activities and open houses at nine locations throughout downtown. Organizer Gibran Graham, of Bangor area pop culture and community events group BangPop, was delighted by the very strong response the festival had in its inaugural year last year.
“Last year was an amazing debut for this event. With great weather and fun activities, we saw 600 kids drag their families through the Downtown Bangor from spot to spot,” he said. “This year we’re excited to have some new businesses involved and different activities offered. Plus everyone is a little more prepared for the army of children to descend upon us.”
Kid Central Festival headquarters are at Bagel Central, where participants can pick up a map of activities. There are a few new activities this year, including digging for real shark fossils with naturalist Tony Sohns, at The Rock & Art Shop on Central Street, available for the full day of activities. At Blue Heron, located at 15 State St, kids can make cards for a birthday, a holiday, or just for fun, with lots of fun decorations supplied. At Mexicali Blues there will be musical instrument demonstrations at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., followed by music-making sessions.
Returning this year will be soda-making at Central Street Farmhouse, in which kids can make, bottle and cap their own variety of sweet treat, with sessions for 48 kids at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Central Street Farmhouse will also host a sunflower planting workshop at noon, for 50 kids. Also returning is a tie-dying T-shirt workshop with Charily Michaud from Maine-ly Tie-Dye, set for noon to 3 at Metropolitan Soul; there’s also cannoli making at Giacomo’s, starting at 10 a.m. and lasting until supplies run out.
Finally, both the Bangor Public Library and the University of Maine Museum of Art will host Kid Central events. The BPL will host staff from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service, to celebrate National Endangered Special Day. There will be a variety of family-oriented games, art projects and activities to highlight the recovery of endangered species in Maine. Children can make Atlantic salmon wind socks and a sea turtle or Canada lynx mask. The UMMA will partner with Penobscot River Restoration Project for an art exploration day in UMMA’s galleries, with scavenger hunts, poetry, sketching, and mural painting.
For more information on the event, visit kidcentralfest.com.