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Two Festivals Packed in One Day

Town of Cllifton hosts Kidfest, Spring Festival.

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Entertainers perform for young attendees at KidFest 2008.

Two springtime events take place Saturday, May 9 in the Town of Clifton. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the Clifton Betterment Association (CBA) is hosting the fourth annual KidFest in the Clifton Town Park. From 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the Acacia Masonic Lodge No. 16 will put on a Spring Festival at the lodge, CBA barn and the Clifton Presbyterian Church parking lot.

“It’s an awesome time and a happy, festive event for families and children,” said Kathy Kinter, organizing KidFest 2009. “There’s a lot of excitement and it’s always a fun-filled day.”

KidFest entertainment includes live musical acts, roving clowns, a 27-foot inflatable slide, moon bounces, carnival games and children’s arts and crafts.

Eggspectations will have several, different food items for sale, and hot dogs, hamburgers, cotton candy, salad and beverages will also be available. Attendees may also visit Clifton’s businesses, such as the Clifton Café, Peterson’s Ice Cream, The Clifton Store and the Heart in Hand restaurant for lunch and snacks. Retail shops will also be open.

Vendors will be selling items such as children’s books, T-shirts and wooden toys. The T-shirts are from the company, Girls Like Math, which presents positive messages for girls. It’s owned by psychologist Ina Patton and her former NFL football player husband, Marvcus Patton, both Clifton residents.

Girl Scouts will have a recycling booth with information and games. Other activities include spin art, face painting, colored hairspray and a children’s yoga demonstration. Local police will do child fingerprinting for parents, and the Clifton Fire Station on Chapel Road will be open for tours. Major sponsors are Fairfax Corner and Wooney & Co. Fun Face Painting.

Admission to KidFest is $5 for anyone who can walk, with all proceeds supporting CBA events for children and raising money for Shelter House, Moms For A Cure and the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program. Each attendee will also receive two, $1 tickets toward any activity requiring tickets.

In addition, the Bryce Foundation will raffle off a gift certificate of at least $500 to a local bike shop. This organization supports research aimed at the prevention, early detection and treatment of pediatric cancers, as well as parental education, advocacy and financial assistance to families.

The Acacia Lodge’s Spring Festival also offers fun for all ages. Clowns from the Kena Shriners in Fairfax will be on hand, and the Kena 500 — people driving miniature Corvettes — will perform several times a day in front of the fire station.

From noon-3 p.m., One Night Stand, a five-piece blues band, will entertain on a stage in front of the CBA barn. Then from 3-5 p.m., Wild Card Band will play classic rock. Food and beverages, including adult beverages, will be offered near the barn, and vendors will sell flowers, plants and shrubs, as well as antiques.

The Academy of Dance and the Bull Run Cloggers will give dance exhibitions. The Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program will staff pony rides, and the Appalachian Bowhunter’s Association will conduct a taxidermy exhibit.

Admission is free, but a $5 charge for parking will be collected. Proceeds will benefit restoration of the historic Acacia Lodge building, which suffered severe flood damage, a few years ago, and needs other repairs, as well.

“It’s the first year we’ve done this,” said Lodge spokesman Don McAndrews. “We’ve been looking for ways to raise money to repair the lodge. It’s a timber structure, originally built as a blacksmith shop, and was the first building in Clifton to have electricity. But the floor sagged down, 4-6 inches, and none of the doors or windows worked because the building wasn’t square. It never even had a foundation, until recently.”

Thanks to a loan from another lodge, work has already begun and, during the Spring Festival, the building will be open for tours. In addition, McAndrews, who chairs the Lodge’s museum committee, said he and his son will either find or build display cases so they can interpret the Lodge’s history and its role in Clifton’s development. “We can open the museum to the public and also do some outreach to the local schools,” he said.

Meanwhile, McAndrews is hard at work readying for the Spring Festival. “Ourisman Toyota is our major sponsor and gave us seed money for expenses,” he said. “It should be a neat event for the town, a laid-back, fun, spring thing. I think we have a wide variety of things to interest people. Food, drink and bands, what’s better in the springtime?”