Submitted by Glenn Walker
KidsFest celebrates the many ways the Kawarthas have been wonderful for families. Producing Tinkertoys, Crayola, Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream, and the great variety of classic wooden toys that enlivened childhoods of the 1950s and 1960s, the region is unusual for how much it has done for kids. It is the 125th anniversary of the first steamer ascending the Fenelon Lock, an important connection in making the lakes a tourist destination and home to the joys of cottage life.
KidsFest brings to life the unique heritage of the Kawarthas in a free family event at Maryboro Lodge: the Fenelon Museum. Garnet Graham Park in Fenelon Falls will be rocking on Labour Day weekend with nine concerts, featuring Juno-nominated performers Chris McKhool and Sonshine & Broccoli. Children will enjoy larger-than-life creations of local toys, crafts, hands-on activities and a splash pad. There will be a community campfire, magic, a petting zoo, pony rides, a real mermaid, and of course, free Kawartha Dairy ice cream. The Cameron Lake Monster might appear (it was printed in the Fenelon Falls Gazette, so it must be real!) "KidsFest is going to be a wonderful end of summer party," observes councillor Doug Elmslie.
To celebrate the anniversary of the Fenelon Falls lock, KidsFest has a maritime theme. Once steamships could navigate around the waterfall, they could carry passengers from Coboconk to Port Perry to Bridgenorth. The Kawarthas were born as a tourist destination, as visitors could take the train from distant cities to connect with the paddle wheelers carrying passengers to summer destinations and cottages throughout the lakes. Sunday schools and charitable organizations organized steamship excursions and picnics throughout the lakes, with 25 cent fares. At KidsFest, participants can build a boat, float it down a stream and learn how locks work at a water table.
"We wanted to host a family event that brings together the feeling of a summer folk festival with a fun fair," explains organizer Sharon Walker. "There will be over 30 hands-on activities, everything from Magic to a Rocket Launcher. There will be so much to do, and it's all free!"
10AM: Fun Zone Opens
10AM: Water Blessing
10AM-1PM: Wagon Rides
11AM to 2PM: Corn Roast & Barbeque
12:30 Free Ice Cream
1PM: Chris McKhool: Earth, Seas & Air
2PM: Paddling Puppeters: Plugging Into Nature
3PM: Chris McKhool: Fiddlefire
4PM: Paddling Puppeteers: Honest Frankie's Shoreline Review
10AM-1PM: Pony Rides
10AM-2PM: Petting Zoo
12:30PM: Free Ice Cream
1PM: Andrew Queen
2PM: Sonshine & Broccoli
3PM: Andrew Queen
4PM: Sonshine & Broccoli
5:30 PM: The Rocket Launch
6PM: Community Campfire
Also See: http://www.maryboro.ca/KidsFest.html