Amherst's King Street to see youthful transition

Darrell Cole
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Street to host Kids Zone during Blueberry Harvest Festival

Heather Matthews of Maggie’s Place (left) and Trina Clarke of the Cumberland YMCA work with a parachute that will be one of the activities in the Kid’s Zone at this weekend’s first Amherst Blueberry Harvest Festival. 

AMHERST – This weekend’s first Blueberry Harvest Festival will be all about families and children.

Maggie’s Place and the Cumberland YMCA have joined forces to co-ordinate the Bluewave Energy Kids Zone that kicks off on Friday and continues into Saturday with a variety of events for children and their parents.

“We have different activities on Friday and Saturday, but on both days there’ll be game tables, craft booths and face-painting as well as a physical activity area,” YMCA CEO Trina Clarke said. “That will be a fun area with lots to choose from  including hula-hoops, bubbles, parachutes and chalk.”

The Blueberry Harvest Festival is making its return to Amherst with numerous events throughout the community including the Atlantic Lottery Main Stage in Victoria Square and the Archway Insurance Blueberry Beer Garden with Hal Bruce and the Big Bad Marty Band.

The children’s area, which will be open from 2 to 6 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, will be on King Street with a couple of events in the former Legion parking lot as well as on Victoria Street and Victoria Square. The Kids Zone will include horseback riding from Maltby Stables, basketball and hockey skills competitions, a fishpond and animals from the L.A. Animal Shelter.

Organizers are offering stamp cards to children under age 14. With each activity, the card will be stamped and completed cards can be put in a ballot box for an opportunity to win a tablet. The first cards are free with additional cards costing $5.

Heather Matthews of Maggie’s Place said a lot of work was put into creating a number of free and family-oriented events.

“Maggie’s Place is all about families and getting things going for the community through partnerships such as with the YMCA,” Matthews said. “We are looking forward to providing lots of affordable family activities during the festival.”

One of the other attractions in the kids zone will be the Eurobungy, while there will also be a number of inflatable mazes including Finding Nemo and the Arctic Expedition Maze.

There will also be a rock/climbing wall.

Other events include the Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Mr. J. the Musician on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.  and YMCA Youth Talent Show on the Atlantic Lottery Main Stage on Friday from 3 to 5 p.m.

“It’s not a contest, but instead it’s a talent show. It’s a way to showcase the young talent we have in this area,” Clarke said. “There will be fiddlers, dancers, duets and solo performers. Robins Donuts and Pharmasave have provided prizes for everyone.”

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: YMCA, Bluewave Energy Kids Zone, Archway Insurance Blueberry Beer Garden Reptile Zoo Pharmasave

Geographic location: Amherst, King Street, Victoria Square Victoria Street

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