The Fraser Valley Children’s Festival returns to Mission’s Fraser River Heritage Park on June 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. / Submitted Photo

The Fraser Valley Children’s Festival returns to Mission’s Fraser River Heritage Park on June 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. / Submitted Photo

Children’s Festival returns to Mission

Fraser Valley Children’s Festival will be held in Fraser River Heritage Park on June 12

The 26th Fraser Valley Children’s Festival will be held in Fraser River Heritage Park on June 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Once again there will be fairies, acrobats, dancers, musicians, singers, magicians and more to entertain and delight children of all ages. Reptiles and the petting zoo are always a favourite. Children and parents can dive into tie-dying, clay working and Lego construction.

The festival began as the Children’s Art Festival in 1985 on a small scale at the Fraser River Heritage Park with about 400 attendees. It was the brainchild of Peggy Staber, the Mission Arts Council executive director at the time.

Ten years later it had grown and was now at the Leisure Centre and featured child centred crafts such as kite, puppet and hat making along with jugglers, magicians and dancers.

By 2008 the attendance broke 2,000.

As the event grew it moved back to the Fraser River Heritage Park and was renamed the Fraser Valley Children’s Festival. Each year had a theme. Pirates, fairy tales and the circus were the favourites. What child doesn’t want to be a swashbuckler, princess or clown for a day.

According to a news release, “volunteers, community businesses, charitable groups, artists and artisans are the backbone of the festival. Their participation and hard work in front and behind the scene ensures a pleasant day of fun for all who attend. The picturesque setting of the Fraser River Heritage Park is a bonus.”

Due to the pandemic the festival was held virtually for the past two years but this year it returns to Heritage Park.

Attendance is expected to rival the 2019 number of 5,500 children, parents and grandparents. The Fraser Valley Children’s Festival heralds the start of summer even if the weather does not always cooperate.