For two decades, WFYI’s PBS KIDS in the Park has served as a treasured family tradition to nearly two generations of Hoosiers. This year, the festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary as one of the largest PBS KIDS events of its kind in the nation.
The free event will be presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday in Military Park in White River State Park, Indianapolis. There will be three stages, activity booths, bounce houses, walk-around characters from PBS KIDS programs and a food court.
This year’s festival theme is “5-2-1-0 Countdown to Health.” WFYI and its community partners will address the growing trend of childhood obesity with a series of health-related activities for children and their families. The first 2,000 children to visit the Anthem tent and take the 5-2-1-0 pledge to make healthy lifestyle choices, will receive a free backpack. (5-2-1-0 Daily Pledge: five servings of fruits and vegetables; two hours of TV; one hour of physical activity and zero sugar-sweetened beverages.)
KIDS in the Park begins with a character parade through the park, followed by opening ceremonies on the Tom Wood Subaru Main Stage. Headlining this year’s entertainment lineup is “Storybook Fun with Curious George and Celina from Sesame Street,” along with shows by Central Indiana performers Animalia, Ruditoonz, Professor Yippet, Suzuki Academy, Indy Fringe, Libada Dance Company, Moriah Music, and Jump and Hop.
Families will enjoy meet and greet opportunities with 16 PBS KIDS characters, including walk-around Super Grover from Sesame Street, Mr. McFeely from Mister Rogers Neighborhood, WordGirl, SUPER WHY! and his co-stars Princess Presto, Wonder Red & Alpha Pig, Cat in the Hat, Sid the Science Kid, Buddy from Dinosaur Train, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Maya & Miguel, Digit from Cyberchase, Daniel Tiger from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Curious George and PBS KIDS’ Dot & Dash.
The festival venue will be divided into four activity zones:
• Healthy Kids Zone: activities hosted by Indianapolis Indians, WFYIs 5-2-1-0 Countdown to Health in partnership with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent “KID-ID BMW” booth and Indy Parks.
• Arts and Cultural Zone: the WFYI Craft Tent, Indianapolis Museum of Art booth, Indianapolis Zoo’s station and Animalia’s interactive booth.
• American Graduate Zone: the WFYI Media Lab, KinderCare’s Pre-K classroom, IMCPL’s Book Mobile and the International School of Indiana’s booth, along with nearly a dozen other interactive activities.
• “This & That” Zone: the Pacers Fan Van, a police cruiser and motorcycle, a Humvee and local firefighters and a fire truck. These are just a few of the activities that await families in the “This & That” Zone.
For more information and a full schedule and map, visit www.wfyi.org.