KidFest in jeopardy

Popular Parksville event organizers will wait until mid-March before plug pulled

Organizers will wait until mid-March to decide if they have enough resources to stage KidFest again this year.

They put out the warning call before their recent AGM, but after a disappointing response KidFest board chair Bonnie Wallis says it is about to be cancelled.

“We’ll give it to the middle of March as a firm deadline, but if we don’t get the help we need there won’t be a KidFest this year,” she said.

They are looking for a few dedicated volunteers to coordinate things like food vendors and community booths after several long-term organizers stepped down due to things like pregnancies and other commitments.

“Or if a service group wants to take it on I can work with them on all the stuff I already have,” she said.

She said the more board members the better, but they have managed with four in recent years.

She called it disappointing because this would be the 21st year for the popular event and they are already getting interested calls from vendors and parents. They get plenty of volunteers on the actual day — which usually coincides with the Quality Foods children’s sandcastle competition — but lack the long term coordinators.

Wallis said they are running out of time in terms of logistics like getting permission from the city and other lengthy processes.

If they don’t get enough response by the middle of the month they will cancel this year with the hope of reviving it the following year with renewed energy.

“We’ll take a break and see what happens.”

The event usually includes dozens of vendors and community booths and live entertainment throughout the day with recent entertainers including Gerry Barnum, Rick Scott, Will Stroet, Jake West, Tickles the Clown, Kumbana Marimba and Afro Mumanzi along with activities like face painting, nature lore, games and crafts.

Anyone interested in helping can contact Wallis at BonnieWallis@shaw.ca or through the website at www.kidfest.ca.