Kids Zone includes new, old entertainment offerings
Once again, the Maple Leaf Festival will have plenty of activities for children at the Kids Zone, including one new special feature.
This year's new addition to the Kids Zone will be a professional storyteller. Priscilla Howe will be reading stories during the weekend. Annie France, Kids Zone organizer, said a sponsor helped bring Howe to the festival.
"Mediacom was very generous and paid to get her for two session on Saturday and Sunday," France said. "She made it a great deal for us."
Howe will be in the Kids Zone from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. France hopes that Howe will help in her process to make the Kids Zone a busier place.
"She is focusing on Kansas and rural history," France said. "We are trying to build up the performing arts area. We want to get to the point where that area is more robust and has a full schedule."
The performing arts area will also include performances by a Taekwondo group, Stacy's Dance Studio and others. The entire Kids Zone will be open all day Saturday and Sunday.
Many of the other activities for children are back again this year. Those include the petting zoo and pony rides.
Rainbow Experience Preschool will be providing an inflatable obstacle course, while the Delta Delta Delta sorority is supporting St. Jude's Hospital with face painting.
Also back this year is the craft tent that is run by Boy Scout Troop 65, which allows children to build a free craft at the festival. France said the craft tent is always busy.
"We started it four years ago and every year we run out of crafts," France said. "We try to limit it to one craft per kid, but we still have to shut down Sunday afternoon."
All of the Kids Zone activities will take place east of the First United Methodist Church, which is located on Grove Street just between Seventh and Eighth streets.
"We hope the kids get excited coming to Maple Leaf, because we have the Kids Zone," France said. "The parents also know that they are going to get a break when they come there."