Children's Festival set for Saturday

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Organizers of Saturday's festival at Centennial Mall want to educate parents and keep children active.

And eating bananas distributed by a pink gorilla.

"We're hoping to get across to kids that's a good thing," Sarah Hepworth -- director of the Moffat County Early Childhood Coalition -- said of Saturday's efforts to promote good nutrition -- a task this weekend to be handled at a booth run by the CSU Moffat County Extension Office.

More than 20 groups with messages and activities for children will be represented tomorrow at the fifth annual Celebrate Childhood Festival in the mall.

It's scheduled between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Hepworth's Childhood Coalition is sponsoring the festival, which coincides with April's national theme of "Month of the Young Child."

Hepworth, who has worked with the festival since its inception, said the event is geared toward children through the fourth grade.

"It's a way to celebrate children by providing fun, free activities," she said. "There aren't a lot of activities for really young children to do here."

Moffat County Partners will be among the many groups represented. Shirley Balleck, an AmeriCorps volunteer with Partners, said that children will be able to make paper Easter Eggs, while passersby can also sign a homemade banner dedicated to U.S. troops serving abroad.

Booths Saturday will occupy the middle corridor of the mall, where adults can also find information about locally available services, Hepworth said.

"If it's stuff that doesn't directly apply to them, at least they know who to ask," she said.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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