KidsFest Returns to Marion Centre on Saturday

The 14th annual KidsFest will return to the Marion Centre on Saturday, February 23, 2013 from 10:00am to 5:00pm. The annual event is a day of mostly free activities, games, prizes, entertainment, and more, all aimed at toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary aged children.

One highlight of the day will be the drawing for an overnight stay for a family of four to Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay indoor water park and hotel, and a family pass to the Lincoln Park Aquatic Center for the entire season.  Both drawings will be held at 4:30pm.

Entertainment on the stage begins at 11:00am with a magic show by Ronald McDonald.  Another popular act that returns from last year is a visit from the Toledo Zoo with some of their animals.  The Zoo’s presentation on endangered animals begins at 1:00pm.

In between, at noon, the Boys & Girls Club of Marion County will host a Kids Karaoke in conjunction with Musicians One-Stop.  At 2:00pm will be the Martha Douce School of Dance, followed by Diverse Moves at 3:00pm.

Returning this year is a Diaper Derby.  Festival organizers say that parents of toddlers in diapers may register their child to compete in a crawling “race”, which will be held near the main stage at 4:00pm. The winners of each heat will earn cases of diapers, courtesy of AHP of Delaware.  Registration is at a table near the stage from 3:00pm until 4:00pm.

Familiar booths and activities return to the Centre’s main concourse, including face painting from Marion City Schools and child ID cards with the Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association.

Four inflatables will be located underneath the skylight at the mall center.  There will be an inflatable bounce house set aside especially for children aged 4 and under.  The first 500 children will receive a free ride pass.  Afterwards, each inflatable costs $1 per turn or patrons can purchase all-day ride passes for $5.00.

“Unfortunately, the price on everything goes up each year,” co-organizer Rob Whalen explained. “In order to make the event as large and as fun  as kids have come to expect and to make sure it happens every year, it was necessary to sell tickets this year.”

Whalen continued, “If you arrive at 10, that’s 6 hours of entertainment for just $5 per child.  As a parent myself, I know how hard it is to find inexpensive fun for kids, especially during the winter.”

Food and drinks will also be for sale.  Thanks to the generosity of Kroger and East of Chicago Pizza, all proceeds will go towards area youth groups.

The 2013 KidsFest is made possible through the support of PNC Bank, Marion Moose Lodge and Family Center #889, The Marion Area Counseling Center, Streetwise Motors, Tri-Rivers Career Center, Marion County Children Services, and Bluefusion Entertainment.

For more information, visit the Kidsfest page at

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