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5th Annual Kids Fest Planned

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The fifth annual Kids Fest will be held on Saturday, April 29th from 10am to 1pm at the Bradford Family YMCA on Boylston Street.

“This is McKean County’s largest collaborative children’s event.  All the activities and programs offered that day are free and specially focused on children birth to five and their families,” said Brent Raabe, Bradford YMCA branch manager.  “Participating organizations will have booths that promote early learning, healthy child development or child safety along with fun, hands-on activities.”

The event encourages family engagement; has kid-friendly entertainment; giveaways and information; as well as a lot for little ones to see and experience.  Some highlights from this year’s Kids Fest include The Erie Traveling Zoo with animal friends, Guitarist Jim Ronan, story-book characters, and the YMCA Adventure Center and Slider.

The ELF Fund is sponsoring a hot dog stand for children and families; and Culligan Water is providing water stations throughout the event.

Participants at the 2016 Kids Fest enjoy an activity at one of the many vendors available. .

Raabe added that developmental specialists from McKean County Early Intervention as well as other local health care providers will be on hand to provide screenings.  Screenings include fine and gross motor skills, speech and language development, vision, hearing and dental wellness.  Screenings provide parents a snapshot of their child’s developmental progress.

Children attending the screenings will receive an age-appropriate developmental toy from funding received by the United Way of the Bradford Area.

“The United Way is proud to be a partner in an event where the impact will be far-reaching,” said Mandi Wilton Davis, executive director of the United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc.  “As a parent of a child who was identified as needing early intervention service through local screenings, I not only encourage families with young children to attend, I also applaud the collaborative efforts of so many local professionals who make early learning and child development such a high priority in our county.”

Last year 235 screenings were conducted with 612 children and family members attending the event.

“Research has consistently proven that the first five years of a child’s life provide the foundation which influences growth and learning and impacts social, emotional, and physical development. Those 2,000 days provide the child with key components to be successful within their family, school, and community.” said Lee Sizemore, Director of McKean County Human Services.  “By offering this event we hope to highlight and celebrate the positive impact which parents, families and the McKean County community can potentially make in a child’s life.”

Each year Kids Fest is hosted by the Bradford YMCA and planned and coordinated by a committee comprised of members of the McKean County Collaborative Board.

The Collaborative Board consists of public- and private-sector agencies representing human and social services, local school districts; preschools and daycares; health care organizations and representatives; the clergy; county agencies, civic groups and businesses whose goal is to promote a safe and positive environment in which citizens will be healthy, educated and responsible community members.

Currently the event has over 20 sponsors including businesses, services groups, individual donors, and the United Way of the Bradford Area, Inc. and over 50 participating organizations and vendors volunteering.

For the most up-to date information and an event countdown including lists of vendors, event entertainment, and activities planned please visit the Kids Fest page on Facebook at

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