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Annual Midwest Kid Fest focuses on family-friendly fun

Young West Fargo resident Kinley Sellden, then 3, waved a flag and showed off her teddy bear June 19, 2015, during the annual Teddy Bear Parade. Forum file photo1 / 3
Tim Derby of Bismarck drove the barrel train June 16, 2017, during the Teddy Bear Parade at Midwest Kid Fest. Forum file photo2 / 3
A young boy participiated in the 2011 Teddy Bear Parade in Fargo with some of his stuffed friends. Forum file photo3 / 3

FARGO —The Fargo Park District will be hosting the 19th annual Midwest Kid Fest at Island Park beginning at 11 a.m. Friday.

The day gets started at 10:30 a.m., with the Teddy Bear Parade offering kids and their parents a chance to show off their stuffed pals to their friends with a march through Island Park.

Katie McCormick, marketing and communications director for the Fargo Park District, says this is a great way to get kids involved.

"So many want to be in a parade," McCormick says. "This gives them a great opportunity to do that. All they need is to bring their parents and stuffed animal and line up."

The Fargo Parks District doesn't charge for the parade, but they do ask that participants bring a canned good to benefit the Great Plains Food Bank.

"Last year we had around 700 kids and adults march in the parade," McCormick says. "It's been a huge benefit to the Great Plains Food Bank."

After the parade, the park will come alive as the kiddos enjoy entertainment by Jeffrey Salveson and Penny and Pals, music by the Fargo Moorhead Youth Choir, life-sized versions of checkers, Yahtzee and Tetris can be played while waiting to ride the obstacle course, zoom down the slide or get wild in the bouncy house. Kids and parents can eat lunch and supper at Kid Fest, with local food vendors serving up hot dogs, pizza, ice cream, iced coffee and more.

There are a few things McCormick says people should keep in mind this year.

"We definitely want people who are coming for the Teddy Bear Parade to know that the gathering place for the start of the parade has changed this year," McCormick says. "The construction is just too much, so we will be starting the parade in front of the Island Park Pool and marching along the trails in the park."

Because of the road construction, the Fargo Park District encourages everyone to leave a little extra time to find parking for the event. MAT Bus will be offering free rides to kids coming to the Teddy Bear Parade and Midwest Kid Fest, and adults can ride for only $1.50. The Island Park parking lots offers parking, and parking in the ramp is free after 5 p.m.

If you go

When: 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, June 15

Where: Island Park, First Ave. S., Fargo

Info: Free, but please bring a canned food item for donation to the Great Plains Food Bank if marching in the Teddy Bear Parade.

Emma Vatnsdal

Emma Vatnsdal is a Features writer, focused on telling stories about people, places and all the interesting things that come along with it. She earned her degree in multimedia journalism from Minnesota State University Moorhead and joined the Forum Communications team in 2018. She grew up in the far north town of Roseau, Minn. and has a thick Minnesotan-Canadian accent. Follow her on Twitter @emmajeaniewenie.

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