FARMINGTON — As area school children begin their February vacation, once again the Franklin County Children's Task Force offers a break from winter.
The 30th annual Children's Festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, in Olsen Student Center on the University of Maine at Farmington campus.
Last year, more than a 1,000 attended for a variety of hands-on activities and entertainment.
This year, activities are also planned to appeal to children of all ages, said Milissa Cousins, administrative assistant at the Task Force.
A new musical presentation provided by Mark Phillips begins at 1 p.m., said Renee Blanchet, executive director. He follows a return of Mr. Magic at noon and Bill Reid and his banjo at 11 a.m.
The Wii will be set up on a big screen to offer children some fun and different activities, she said.
Representatives from the Fire Department and Police Department will be there, as will McGruff the Crime Dog.
Different booths will offer opportunities for games and crafts. Catholic Charities will be there with puppets and Everyone's Resource Depot will help children make winter collages, Cousins said.
Maine Maple Producers will once again make maple lollipops for the children outside the Student Center and the child identification program, or C.H.I.P., will be there.
Face painting, cookie decorating, balloon animals are all part of the fun.
State Sen. Thomas Saviello, R-Wilton, will serve as emcee again this year.
Ice cream and other refreshments will be available.
This year, the Children's Task Force is selling special coffee cups. The $20 cup purchase entitles the buyer to free coffee at Dunkin' Donuts on Sundays for a year, Blanchet said.
More than 30 individuals and groups plan to provide some type of activity, many hands-on.
UMF donates the space and its custodians help with set-up, Cousins said. The dining service, Aramark, provides popcorn.
"It's absolutely fun. It's also amazing how many people come," she said.
For more information, contact the Children's Task Force at 778-6960.