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Kid Fest in Clifton

Food, fun, music and games in the park.

— Music, games, food and an all-around good time – that’s what’s in store for those attending Kid Fest in Clifton. It’s slated for this Saturday, Sept. 15, from noon-5 p.m., in the town park.

“This is designed to be a day of fun and play for children in the Clifton Elementary School boundary area,” said event organizer Tom VanBlaricom. “It’s to bring back the children who were scattered into three different schools by the closing of Clifton Elementary.”

The cost is $5/person; children under 2, free, and all children are welcome to attend. A slew of activities are planned, and they’re all free. There’ll be a moonbounce and things such as volleyball, badminton and egg toss. Children will also be able to play games similar to those at Clifton Elementary’s fun fairs, such as milk-jug toss and fishing.

From noon-3 p.m., a video-game truck will be on hand. Inside, up to 16 children at a time can play video games. In addition, local Clifton businesses – All that Glitters, the Clifton Café, Clifton Wine Shop and Virginia Spa & Salon – will run various craft activities and games.

Several teen bands will perform throughout the day on a covered stage. Among them will be Pat Sommers’ Rock Shop, comprised of several Clifton teenagers. There’ll also be karaoke and strolling musicians.

Food will be available for purchase from Baja Fresh and the town’s restaurants. “Wrist tags will allow people to exit and re-entry to the park so they may patronize the town businesses and restaurants, such as the Clifton Café, Peterson’s Ice Cream Depot and the Main Street Pub,” said VanBlaricom.

Clifton’s Fire Station 16 will bring a fire engine and do a demonstration, as will a local police officer with a cruiser. A face painter will be there, too; and, possibly, a person making balloon animals. Sponsoring the whole event is the Clifton Betterment Association.

“We’ll also have a special guest, Cindy Borer, a much-loved Clifton Elementary third- and fourth-grade teacher who taught for over 25 years and retired several years ago,” said VanBlaricom. “She’ll visit with the kids and will be autographing Clifton Elementary T-shirts.” The shirts will be adorned with artwork by local artist Palmer Smith and will be given away free while supplies last.

“It’s a special, old-town, community gathering put on by 12-15 volunteers, with help from Girl Scout Troop 819,” said VanBlaricom. “The focus is just on plain, old-fashioned fun. Kids can run around, see their friends and have a good time.”

Attendees will also be able to give a bear a good home. Throughout the day, donations of new or gently used teddy bears and other stuffed animals will be accepted for the charity, The Teddy Bear Brigade, for children who are victims of war, poverty and natural disasters.

It’s a component of the nonprofit organization, Gleaning for the World, which distributes food and medical supplies to people in need throughout the world. VanBlaricom is a member of it and, he said, “It donated approximately $500 million worth of supplies last year, both internationally and domestically.”

In the U.S., the donations go to areas hit by natural disasters. And since 2001, it’s distributed an estimated 300,000 stuffed animals. Last year, Forbes Magazine named GFTW the most-efficient charity in America. For more information, see www.GFTW.org.