A festival just for kids | TheUnion.com

A festival just for kids

Submitted to Prospector

On Friday The Children's Festival will return to Pioneer Park in Nevada City. The park will be transformed into a lively Renaissance Faire for children with over twenty arts and crafts tables, strolling minstrels, jugglers, magicians, face-painters, a bridge-guarding troll, a bevy of faeries, mermaids, a bubble jester, Pyrate Skool, Pepper the Witch, medieval fencing, garland dancers, catapults, spinning demonstrations, Queen Elizabeth and her court, and Claude, the life-sized mechanical dragon.

Founded in 1971 by Pat Cobler and Ilse Barnhart, the Children's Festival continued as an annual summer event for 19 years. It was revived in 2003, as a memorial tribute to Ilse Barnhart and this year the festival celebrates the 16th anniversary of its revival.

The Children's Festival is one of the premiere summer events for children, with over 2000 children and adults attending.

Children are able to make their own tunics, swords, shields, crowns, macaroni necklaces and magic wands. They are able to engage in wood block construction, soapstone carving, Renaissance rubbings, solar art, and clay modeling.

The Audubon Society will be returning with their painted wooden birds and bird masks and the very popular Dragon Castle will be available to paint — the castle designer warns "Watch out for the claws!"

New this year will be the Knights & Dragons game table (similar to checkers), Wizard's Chess (a giant chess game), and Ray Ray, the Bubble Jester who will stroll through the park making bubble magic.

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Pyrate Skool will return for the fifth year, with an interactive "edutainment" program about nautical history and seafaring tools, the unique "language" of pirates and sea shanties — and attendees will have the opportunity to shoot stuffed monkeys from cannons.

There is an entertainment stage with performances throughout the morning and evening. Two old festival favorites will be returning this year — Juggler/Storyteller Izzy Tooinsky and Peter the Magician.

New this year will be the Garland Dancers — a quartet of dancers in Renaissance costume with elaborate garlands. Each session will end with the Queen's Procession and Festival Parade, and all attendees are invited to participate. Costumes are encouraged.

The Children's Festival has been described as "amazing," "the highlight of the summer," and "a local, magical treasure."

With wonderful crafts and fun performances in Nevada City's beautiful Pioneer Park, it's an event for families to create wonderful memories.

This year's Children's Festival will once again have two sessions, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 5-8 p.m.

Admission to each session is $3. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. There will be reusable tote bags available for a suggested donation of $1, as well as free paper bags for all the wonderful things attendees will make at the craft tables.

The festival is sponsored by Gold Country Kiwanis who has very generously provided both financial support and volunteers.

The festival is also supported by The Center for the Arts and many other local businesses — and is made possible by the more than 200 local volunteers who work throughout the year to bring this unique event to the children of Nevada County.

KNOW & GO

WHAT: The Children’s Festival

WHEN: 9 a.m. to noon and 5-8 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Pioneer Park, Nevada City

TICKETS: $3 per person for each session

INFO: Visit http://www.thechildrensfestival.com, email Festival Director, Karen Nelson, at knelson349@gmail.com, or check out the Facebook page for more information

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