The Children's Festival, Pioneer Park, Nevada City, CA

children's festivalFriday, July 18th, 2014 The Children's Festival will return to Pioneer Park in Nevada City. The park will be transformed into a lively Renaissance Faire for children. This year's festival will include over twenty arts and crafts tables, strolling minstrels, a magician, face-painters, a bridge-guarding troll, medieval fencing, and Claude, the life-sized mechanical dragon.

Founded in 1971 by Pat Cobler and Ilse Barnhart, the Children's Festival continued as an annual summer event for 19 years. It was revived in 2003, after a lapse of 13 years, as a memorial tribute to Ilse Barnhart and to give children of all ages a chance to enjoy a time of low-tech fun, where imagination, not automation, rules the day.

For several months, volunteers meet at weekly workshops to prepare the various arts and crafts and make decorations for the one-day celebration. At the festival, children will be able to make their own costumes, swords, shields and magic wands, and engage in wood block construction, soapstone carving and clay modeling. A medieval cardboard castle will be available for all to paint.

Last year over 2000 children and adults attended the festival, an event that provides families with an opportunity to come together and return to a simpler time. Children with fond memories of the original festivals are now bringing their own children to delight in the magic of this unique celebration of creativity and community spirit.

This year's Children's Festival will once again have two sessions, from 9am - 12 pm and from 5pm - 8pm. Admission to each session is $3. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

The festival is sponsored by the Nevada City Rotary Club and many local businesses - and is made possible by the more than 200 local volunteers who work tirelessly to bring this unique event to the children of Nevada County.


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