A parade seems designed especially for a kids. People in fun costumes toss piles of pocket-size candy, dogs trounce around at their feet and marching bands dance and play music gleefully.
Once the parade is over, though, it's Aime Kelly's job to keep youngsters excited and engaged at Multnomah Days.
"Given the opportunity to move the joy and merriment that is collected and gleaned from parade into full-on, hands-on exploration — that output of energy and joy is at its heart what a festival event should be about," said Kelly, the youth art and outreach director for the Multnomah Arts Center.
Kelly coordinates activities in the Kids' Zone at Multnomah Days. She says Kids' Zone activities, some of which are geared for adults as well, are more "tactile" than other aspects of the festival.
A number of popular organizations will return to the Kids' Zone this year, and Kelly has also secured new community partners through outreach campaigns: Village Home Education Resource Center and the new holistic health clinic Living Well Community Health will join in the Kids' Zone offerings this year.
The activities will run 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, at Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 S.W. Capitol Highway. Though there will not be a rock wall or a PDX Parent photo booth this year, kids will find a number of other family-friendly activities. You can:
- Find representatives from the Portland Police Department, who will be hanging out at the front section of the MAC parking lot. Though kids usually are drawn in by the free ice cream, they stick around to see a bomb disposal unit, a Mounted Patrol unit, police motorcycles and a patrol car. There will be some forensic fingerprinting activities, too.
- Kick a ball, learn some new moves and score some goals with Soccer Shots.
- Learn more about MAC's clay and woodworking training programs by creating turning wood tops and fantasy worlds of hand-built clay sculptures.
- Walk a slackline provided by The Circuit Bouldering Gym, which has a location on Southwest Macadam Avenue.
- Experience Spanish-based stories and crafts from the Portland Early Learning Project.
- Transform into a glittery tiger or a colorful bird at the face-painting station.
- Learn about the environment or start a green project at the Southwest Community Center Sprout Academy Preschool booth.
- Immerse yourself in a hands-on art project with Little Artist Preschool.
- Make your own therapeutic bath salts with Melinda from Living Well Community Health Clinic.
- Harness the scientist inside you by making scribble bots with Village Home Education Resource Center.