KidsFest returns to Stanley Park

STANLEY Park is the place to be this August as the James Bulger Memorial Trust returns with its third annual KidsFest. The free festival, organised by Orb Events, has become the go-to event for families in North Liverpool and beyond, with more than 16,000 visitors to date. This year’s KidsFest takes place on Sunday 20 August and is set to be bigger and better than ever before as it expands in to a massive space in Stanley Park thanks to support from Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson. And a host of new acts and attractions has now been announced. The Main Stage features a great selection of entertainment which includes SingMe Merseyside. The choir boasts more than 150 members, and will be kicking off the fun at 12 noon on the day with a host of favourite Beatles numbers. As well as a rousing sing-a-long, there are also a great selection of performances planned from local dance schools such as AJ Dance and Shirley Kelly School of Dance. The stage line-up also includes the talented youngsters from LMA (Liverpool Media Academy), who have just been seen on BBC’s Pitch Battle. The choir is also famous for its flash mob performance of Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are, which became a media and YouTube sensation. Festival organisers are keen to feature young up-and-coming artists, and 17-year-olds Jack Desmond and Liv Pritchard, who have both been making serious waves on the Liverpool music scene, will be performing on the main stage. James Bulger Memorial Trust supporters Chris Maloney Dance Academy and MD Productions’ mini divas, Girl Talk, will also appear during the day. Along with action on the main stage, youngsters of all ages are guaranteed to be entertained all day long with their favourite fairground rides and bouncy castle world. Families can also pit themselves against the Big Rig – a Royal Marine assault course, Lazer Tag, zorbing, and giant ball game dart ball (a unique, fun mix of football and darts). And everyone is encouraged to get hands on and take part in the activity zone and dance arena. Check out the Baby Rave with the ultra-cute Diddy Dance Company and Evolution Parties who will be providing the tunes for the under fives’ disco. Evolution will also provide the fun and games plus a range of Disney characters including Beauty and the Beast, which will be available for selfies throughout the day. Merseyfire and Rescue will also be in attendance inviting visitors to learn all about their fire engine. And the team from Walton Youth Services will be on hand to organise team games, such as tug of war, a family football tournament, and Silly Sports Day to name just a few. A famous balloon artist is flying all the way from Poland – although not by balloon! – to entertain the children of north Liverpool with his incredible larger than life size balloon sculptures. Ramazon Ponies will provide mini carriage rides, while there will also be donkey rides and a chance to meet and even feed some Alpacas. Meanwhile the fantastic Rob Raptor will be bringing his birds of prey and giving talks about how they behave and live in the wild. And if you have any energy left after all that, there will be ‘have a go’ sessions and class demonstrations from Bushido Martial Arts and Martial Arts Aintree. Finally, if you like your food then KidsFest pop-up food market will cater for all tastes with affordable eats and child portions sure to satisfy appetites both big and small. There will also be a range of stalls providing a chance to have a browse, or get glittered up with Glitterbugs. ​But despite a packed programme, there is still time to join what is going to be a fantastic day. Businesses or performers are being invited to get in touch with Orb Events via email at info@orb-events.co.uk or on 0151 707 0965. The James Bulger Memorial Trust’s Stuart and Denise Fergus (mother of James Bulger) commented: “KidsFest has grown and grown since the first festival and this year it is our biggest and best event yet. And what’s even better is that it remains free to attend. “Whatever you and your children are interested in – whether it’s music, dance, games, crafts, sport, food or fairground fun, we can guarantee you will have a brilliant day out at Stanley Park on August 20.” Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “KidsFest has quickly become one of the fixtures of the summer entertainment offer in North Liverpool, and it’s great to see so many families coming out to enjoy themselves and take part in the day. “The James Bulger Memorial Trust does some excellent work with and on behalf of young people. And I’m delighted, as Mayor of Liverpool, to be able to do my bit to support such a brilliant and worthwhile festival in Stanley Park – one of the wonderful green gems in the north of the city.” ​Keep up to date with the charity and announcements for KidsFest at www.forjames.org Follow them on Facebook /JamesBulgerMT and on Twitter @JBMT1