100% Chance of Fun

Yesterday won’t go away, we had too much fun at the 2017 Kid Central Festival in Downtown Bangor. There was henna art, candy necklace making, so many games, hat creating, giant bubble blowing, seed planting and so much more. And how could we talk about the amazing time that was yesterday without thanking the incomparable Chris Van Dusen for entertaining kids with a lively reading from his newest book, Hattie & Hudson, and delighting so many families with signed copies of his books.

Kid Central Festival’s 7th year wouldn’t be what it is without the support of the kids that love it, the families that attend it, the businesses and organizations that put on so many amazing activities, the cadre of volunteers who help keep it running and the city who lets us take over little bits of downtown every year.

We’re already looking ahead to next year, the 8th annual Kid Central Festival to be held Saturday, May 5, 2018. Can’t wait to see you for our extra special cinco de mayo edition of this annual favorite!

Happy Kid Central Day!

It’s finally here and it’s rain or shine. (We really can’t complain after 6 years of amazing weather. It was our turn.)

Schedule maps are available at Kid Central Headquarters which is The Briar Patch at 27 Central Street this year. You can also download the schedule below. Have fun today and if you post pictures please use the #kcf2017!

2017 KCF Program

What’s Happening at Kid Central Fest 2017?

Wondering what’s happening this year at Kid Central Festival on May 6, 2017? Here’s a sampling of all the fun to be had when the kids of greater Bangor invade downtown on the first Saturday in May.

As always, all of these events are FREE.

Get Your Sun(Flower) On!

Who’s ready to get planting? Join the folks at Paddy Murphy’s to plant sunflower seeds. How tall will your plant grow this summer?

All ages

Paddy Murphy’s, 26 Main Street

Sweet Bling!

They’re tasty. They’re yummy. And you know you want one! Head over to the upper room at Specialty Sweets to learn how to make candy necklaces. Mmm.

Recommended for ages 5 and up

Specialty Sweets, 31 Main Street

Bubbles! My Bubbles!

Who doesn’t love bubbles? Visit the creative staff from the Bangor Daily News and Bangor Metro and learn how to make homemade bubble solution, giant bubble wands and some fun little ones too.

Recommended for ages 3 and up

Bangor Daily News/Bangor Metro, 1 Merchants Plaza

Snazzy Hats!

Our friends at Windover Art Center in Newburgh will be in Bangor Saturday morning to bring some artistic fun to Kid Central Fest. Check them out and learn how to upcycle newspaper into paper hats and then decorate them with paper flowers and other colorful things.

All ages

Windover Art Center @ COESPACE, 48 Columbia Street

That’s Some Crafty Fun!

Ready to play? So are we! Pine Tree Society from Bath is joining Kid Central Fest this year with lawn games and a small craft for kids to make and take home.

All ages

Pine Tree Society @ Maine Discovery Museum, 74 Main Street

Games Are Calling to You!

Who’s ready for some board games? Join the folks at Fork & Spoon for tabletop gaming in their space, right next to the Maine Discovery Museum.

All ages

Fork & Spoon, 76 Main Street

Tomato Time!

Who’s ready to grow some fresh tomatoes this summer? Join the One Tomato Project from 10 am to 1 pm to plant tomatoes in paper pots for growing at home. This fun returning activity has been a hit every year — and kids love watching their plants grow!

All ages

One Tomato Project @ Epic Sports, 6 Central Street

Oh Henna!

The fine folks at Mexicali Blues will be doing henna art. Created using a powder made from the flowering plant, henna, this fun body painting activity will adorn your skin with creative, intricate, beautiful designs that last a few days.

All ages

Mexicali Blues @ The Upper Room at Specialty Sweets, 31 Main Street

Book Debut!

Beloved children’s author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen returns to Kid Central Festival for the debut of his newest picture book Hattie & Hudson. He’ll be reading from the book at Central Meeting House at 10 am. Then join him at The Briar Patch to pick up your own copy and get it signed too along with other favorites including The Circus Ship and his other recent release, Even Monsters Need to Sleep.

All Ages

Central Meeting House, 29 Central Street
The Briar Patch, 27 Central Street

Fancy That Paper!

Paper crafts are so fun, aren’t they? Learn how to transform ordinary paper into something extraordinary when you join the Rock and Art Shop for marbling paper from 12 pm to 3 pm.

Recommended for ages 8 and up

Rock and Art Shop, 36 Central Street

Upcycling Fun!

What’s old is new again at vintage store Retro Swagger. During Kid Central Fest, learn how to upcycle old t-shirts into handbags, dog toys and necklaces. Then decorate them with beads and charms.

All ages

Retro Swagger, 10 Harlow Street

Art Factory!

Celebrate spring at the University of Maine Museum of Art on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Spring Art Factory, sponsored by WBRC Architects/Engineers, will feature art making stations in the museum where kids of all ages can work on printed, painted and other hand-crafted projects.

All ages

University of Maine Museum of Art, 40 Harlow Street

Up Your Nature Knowledge!

From the golden eagle to the little brown bat, the box turtle to the juniper hairstreak, there are 22 inland fish and wildlife species listed as endangered in Maine and another 23 listed as threatened. Learn about endangered species with the NOAA Fisheries Service at the Bangor Public Library through craft projects and coloring activities.

All ages

Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow Street

Calling All Carnival Fans!

It’s carnival time at Kid Central Fest! Bangor Parks and Recreation will be hosting Plinko and Gone Fishing carnival games at COESPACE. And, as if that’s not awesome enough, there will be prizes too!

All ages

Bangor Parks and Recreation @ COESPACE, 48 Columbia Street

Sparkles, Sparkles, Everywhere!

You won’t want to miss this one. The fine folks at Good Soul will be teaching kids to make sparkly liquid sensory bags from 1 pm to 3 pm. And you can also color on their fabulous chalk wall too!

Recommended for ages 4 and up

Good Soul, 60 Columbia Street

But First, Start Here

Be sure to drop in at Kid Central Headquarters located this year at The Briar Patch, 27 Central Street. You can pick up a full map and schedule of activities there.

A Beloved Illustrator, a Little Girl and a Not-So-Fearsome Monster meet at Kid Central Fest

Beloved children’s author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen returns to Kid Central Festival on May 6, 2017! We’re especially excited for the release of his newest picture book, Hattie & Hudson, and hope you will help us celebrate it’s launch. Chris will be reading and signing the new book along with other favorites including The Circus Ship and his other recent release, Even Monsters Need to Sleep.


Maine author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen is the creator of many outstanding books for children, including Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, If I Built a Car and Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit. He is also the illustrator of President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath by Mac Barnett and the best-selling Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo.

Copies of Chris’ books will be available for sale from The Briar Patch children’s bookstore in downtown Bangor. You are also welcome to bring copies from your home library to get signed.

About Hattie & Hudson:

A little girl and her colossal friend teach a monster-size lesson about prejudging others in a charming new offering from Chris Van Dusen.

Hattie McFadden is a born explorer. Every morning she grabs her life jacket and paddles out in her canoe to discover something new on the lake, singing a little song on her way. When her singing draws up from the depths a huge mysterious beast, everyone in town is terrified — except Hattie, who looks into the creature’s friendly, curious eyes and knows that this is no monster. So Hattie sneaks out at night to see the giant — whom she names Hudson — and the two become friends. But how can she make the frightened, hostile townspeople see that Hudson isn’t scary or dangerous at all? Chris Van Dusen brings his colorful, perspective-bending artwork to this satisfying new story about acceptance, friendship, and sticking up for those who are different.

Save the Date for This Year’s Festival

BangPop! presents the seventh annual Kid Central Festival in Downtown Bangor on Saturday, May 6th. With the help of local businesses, museums and other arts organizations, families will enjoy a wealth of fun and free activities both indoors and outside. From music to crafts, face painting to the annual superhero costume contest, there are activities for everyone ages 12 and under. Kid Central Festival begins at 10 am and continues until 3 pm. Schedule and more information will soon be available soon.

These Kids are the Stars!

There were singers, little and big and dancers twirling across our stage. Costumes, ice cream, jokes and face painting too! Don’t forget the tomato seeds, flowers planted, tie dye and more, too. These are just a few of the things that made the beautiful Saturday amazing. Thank you everyone for bringing the fun to the 6th annual Kid Central Festival. See you next year on the first Saturday of May! (5/6/2017)

All photos by Justin Russell Photography

Kid Central’s Got Talent!

Talent ShowAnnouncing the Talent Show at the Darling’s Children’s Pavilion! For the first time, Kid Central Festival will host a Talent Show thanks to our Play All Day sponsor Darling’s.

Kids 12 and under will be able to show off their individual flair or expertise on the outdoor stage in Norumbega Parkway. Whether you have a knack for singing, playing the ukulele, hula hooping, dancing or have master yoyo skills, we invite you to show off your special talents.

It’s a perfect combination with Lynn Plourde‘s appearance at this year’s Kid Central Festival as she reads and signs copies of her newest book, You’re Doing THAT in the Talent Show?!

Registration to perform in the Talent Show is free and can be found below.

Near the stage, Darling’s will also be hosting a Ford Test Drive Event to benefit John Bapst Project Graduation. Drivers may enter to win a $50 gift card to The Briar Patch for test driving a car at John Bapst that day.


So Much Fun Coming Your Way at Kid Central Festival on Saturday, May 7th!

We’re posting some sneak peeks of the assortment of great activities happening at this year’s Kid Central Festival throughout the day today. Check back to see more fun stuff added to the list below!

Printing and Planting for the Future

Beal-College-125th-logoSharing & Caring sponsor Beal College understands the importance of local, hands-on education. Have fun getting your hands dirty with a finger printing art project and flower planting for Mother’s Day. Follow “diploma road” as it leads to their fun activities.

Beal’s mission is to become partners with their students in their journey to improve their career opportunities through the contemporary academic programs offered at the college.

Kid Central Scavenger Hunt

Explore BangorJoin one of Downtown Bangor’s newest businesses for a scavenger hunt throughout the downtown. Stop in to Explore Bangor and pick up clues before heading out on your hunt. Return with your completed lists and collect your prize! (A mobile phone or digital camera is required for this activity. Make sure you ask your parents first.)

Explore Bangor offers access to all the beauty and adventure of Bangor, Maine. Bicycles, Kayaks, SUPs, as well as retail offerings of the same and much more. Located at 25 Hammond Street.

Bicycle Rentals

You’re Doing THAT at Kid Central Festival?!


We’re very excited to announce our first Special Guest for the 2016 Kid Central Festival scheduled for May 7. We’ll be joined by the amazing children’s author LYNN PLOURDE! Lynn will be making her first appearance ever at Kid Central Festival. She’ll be reading and signing copies of her upcoming book, You’re Doing THAT in the Talent Show?!, and can’t wait to meet all the talented kids at the event this year.

Warning: She may be dressed up as the title character, Penelope.

Lynn PlourdeLynn Plourde is the author of more than 30 children’s books, mostly picture books, but also a graphic novel and a middle grade novel. She’s a teaching author who has done hundreds of visits to schools where she shares her books interactively, acts some out as plays, and teaches writing mini-lessons to students. Lynn is a native Mainer who frequently uses her home state for inspiration when writing. She currently lives in Winthrop, Maine, with her husband. You can learn more at her website: www.lynnplourde.com