The Cultural Arts District in historic downtown Galveston will come alive on April 1 with music, children singing and dancing, live entertainment, stage productions, bands, puppets, storytelling inside a giant tepee, a bubble pond, a petting zoo, and over 50 booths showcasing hands-on arts and crafts for children of all ages. It’s all this and more when the 22nd annual Grand Kids Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 1 between 20th and 23rd streets on Postoffice Street. And admission is free!

Highlights of our upcoming 2017 festival will include two performances of the Missoula Children’s Theatre production of Aladdin, performances by internationally-recognized, award-winning singer and author Johnette Downing (who is dubbed the “Pied Piper of Louisiana Music traditions”); new entertainment by Tom’s Fun Band (an interactive musical group performing with acoustic guitar, ukulele, bass and drums), as well as representatives from Beaumont’s Gator Country — educating youngsters about alligators and reptiles in our area; and an amazing drum circle with Dan Egge-Belandria and New World Synergy.

Also new this year, the Ball High School Media Arts Students in partnership with MyBayAreaRadio, will be broadcasting live remote from the festival grounds and interviewing attendees as to what they like best about this year’s event.

Many Galveston County students will be performing throughout the day — so if your children and/or grandchildren are performing, gather your family and friends together so you won’t miss their big performance!

It seems every year the festival gets bigger and better. We look forward to welcoming you and your family and hope you can spend the entire day with us! There’s so much to see and do. Come on down to Postoffice Street — bring your children and grandchildren to The Grand Kids Festival. Listen to a story, watch a play, enjoy a dance, clap along with the music, create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece and have a blast!

Be sure and come hungry, as we’ll have a variety of fun foods to enjoy, too. And remember, admission is free!

If you have questions about the festival or need details about the student auditions for Aladdin on March 27th, please contact me at 409-770-5066 or spiel@thegrand.com. For general information about the Grand Kids Fest, visit www.grandkidsfestival.com or call 800-821-1894.

We look forward to seeing you on April 1st!

Sarah Piel is the festival director, and director of education and resource development for The Grand 1894 Opera House.

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