Friday, July 2, 2010

StoryBook Festival

What do you think of when you read the words ‘Once Upon a Time’? I would venture to say that some of you may think immediately of princesses and dreams coming true, while others may think of dragons and knights facing daring feats. Whatever thoughts these four words conjure up, I am certain that we all have heard them, spoken them, and anxiously awaited the story that follows them. ‘Once Upon a Time…’, these are very powerful words. Once spoken, anything is possible!

It is this magnitude of magic that we, at the Reading Railroad, hope to capture at our upcoming Storybook Festival. Our theme for this year’s Storybook Festival is, you guessed it, ‘Once Upon a Time’. As with many Reading Railroad events, our vision for this special day is to create an environment where children and families can engage in activities and experiences that help foster a love for literacy. And on Sunday, July 11th the Reading Railroad crew will transform Spencer Park into a storybook land, perfect for all the princesses and brave knights (and their royal families) from across the land, to come and enjoy.

We will have three main entertainment areas at the festival. In our “Lyrics and Literacy” area, Jarrett Binney will be performing live music and allowing kids to interact with different types of instruments, as he sings and teaches kids that songs are stories put to a tune. Across the park we will have a puppeteer on hand who will offer two marionette performances of the classic fairytale, ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Head back to the wooded area of Spencer Park to find our third main entertainment option; a few professional storytellers from the Bloomington Storyteller’s Guild will be joining us to perform live storytelling to all intrigued listeners.

If all of these great entertainment options aren’t luring enough, we have oodles of hands-on activities to suit your fairytale fancy. We will have the traditional fairytale activities for you and your family to enjoy, like making your own crowns, wands, and leather story-bookmarks. We will also be offering some extra unique activity options; in our ‘Glass Slippers and Seeds’ area, festival attendees will get to choose a shoe and turn it into a flower pot, by filling it with soil and then planting some seeds. If Cinderella can turn pumpkins into stage coaches, we can certainly turn slippers into miniature flower gardens.

If your children enjoy stories more for the action and adventure, rather than the glitter and glitz, the Storybook Festival will have a handful of activities for this too. There will be a number of active play areas, designed to inspire imaginative play. Check out the ‘Princess Castle’ and ‘Pirate’s Cove’ play areas where kids can easily pretend to be the main character in their own fairytale. And, you won’t want to miss out on our favorite activity at this year’s festival, ‘Noodle Jousting’; you’ll have to stop by the festival to see what that is all about!

No fairytale would be complete without a happy ending. And the happy ending for our Storybook Festival is that all this family fun is FREE for all festival attendees! There will also be free snacks available, as well as free books distributed. Children are encouraged to dress-up like their favorite fairytale or storybook character, to help bring the magic of this day to life. To take part in all of this fairytale and storybook fun, join us for the Storybook Festival, July 11th from 1:00-3:00pm at Spencer Park. Come out and see how with literacy, we are one step closer to living happily ever after.

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