Having children ten years apart allows me a unique perspective when it comes to the progression of annual events and festivals here in our fine city. Case and point: The Children’s Festival. Ten years ago, hand in hand with my toddler son, I would navigate this four-day event and…. Ill be honest….I’d be completely underwhelmed. (Spoiler- this is anything but a negative review, please keep reading).
Dozens of tents and stages and play areas would be constructed on the banks of our South Saskatchewan River, making it free for everyone….but to take in a show from one of the actual child entertaining entertainers, who would perform inside of said tents- you had to purchase individual tickets for each and everyone of them.
Yes, I realize the concept of buying tickets to a show isn’t foreign or unfair..but for the most part, I had no idea who any of these performers were. It’s not like there was a Dora The Explorer tent, or a Wiggles tent- these were all touring acts from the neighboring Provinces. I would always look at my child and run the checklist against my watch “in the last 40 minutes we’ve walked four blocks from the car, danced with a clown, stood in a line for face-painting, consumed an ice cream cone and played with bubbles..is my one year old going to turn nuclear ten minutes into a show I am about to pay to see?” Outside the tent, my son saw a picture of a guy on a unicycle…I saw myself throwing $20 into a barrel and lighting it on fire.
Roll the clocks forward from 2007 to 2017 and I’m holding hands with toddler daughter as I make my return to the Children’s Festival. The first thing worth pointing out is that it now has a sponsor and has been renamed ‘The Potash Corp Children’s Festival‘ As luck would have it, this was the first year the festival relocated to their new site- the huge grassy property attached to Kinsmen Park (now also sponsored and renamed ‘Potash Corp Playland at Kinsmen Park’- but that’s another article for another day).
The entire area is now completely fenced in when it wasn’t back at its old river-side location…and just as I’m about to connect the dots as to why- I’m standing in front of a ‘Cash Only Entrance’ dizzy with the realization that now there is a fee…just to get in..before paying to see the tent shows! (Spoiler- this is anything but a negative review, please keep reading).
As my jaw drops I read the large signage and the clouds part and here comes the positive swerve- the one-time price of admission gets you access into the festival….WHERE ALL THE TENTED ENTERTAINMENT IS NOW FREE!
I am humbled and excited. I bow to the good folks of The Potash Corp Children’s Festival for this change- with that one simple alteration – it is now financially risk free to spend the entire day and take advantage of everything it has to offer.
This is exactly the modification this festival needed, so please…support positive change- support them.
Get excited about next year at potashcorpchildrensfestival.com