The Kootenay Children’s Festival had a great turnout this past weekend, with hundreds of people young and old in attendance.
The festival took place at a new location – Rotary Park – alongside the Cranbrook Farmers’ Market on Saturday, May 7.
Galen Olstead, Managing Director of the Key City Theatre (which hosted the festival), says it was a wonderful return after a two-year hiatus.
“It was a huge day, it was wonderful, really neat to see everyone come together again,” Olstead said. “It was a little daunting this year, after not being able to put the festival on for the past two years because of the pandemic. Plus, we moved locations to Rotary Park. But it was a great day and a great turnout.”
Performers included Karima Essa, Bonnie Harvey and Fred Penner.
The weather was all over the map, with hail, rain, wind and sunshine all mixed into one. That didn’t seem to stop any families from enjoying the festivities, or deter people from shopping local at the market.
“We saw every season in one day, so people kind of scattered when it rained, but thankfully we had lots of tents. The weather didn’t affect things too much,” said Olstead. “Plus, Karima kicked off the performances and she had so much energy, it was amazing.”
When asked about having Fred Penner perform, Olstead said it’s “difficult to frame the impact” that Penner has.
“Just having him there was so important. The message he has built his life on, and his music on, is so great. You know, be nice to one another, be kind to yourself, and the importance of community. I think that really showed in the event too. It was a wonderful gift and we were so lucky to have him,” said Olstead. “Overall it was a really great day. It’s such an inclusive event – everyone is welcome. We definitely felt that on Saturday.”
Olstead says he and his team at Key City are already planning for next year’s festival.
“We learned quite a bit this year, which is good. We will need a second bouncy castle, there was such a long line, and we will need more volunteers,” Olstead explained.
He adds that the festival takes a lot to produce, from the performances down to the sidewalk chalk. Key City Theatre is already raising funds to go towards future festivals.
“We want to thank our sponsors for this year’s event, it wouldn’t have happened without them,” he said.
Anyone interested in volunteering or getting involved can get in touch with Galen Olstead at 250-426-7006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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