7th Annual Day of Play Family Festival Arrives June 9th
Come Play with Us at Elm Park
WORCESTER, MA (May 22, 2018) – Worcester’s 7th annual Day of Play Family Festival is Saturday, June 9th from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm at Elm Park. (Rain date: June 10th) Join the fun with over 40 free activities and performances.
“Day of Play connects children and families to the joy of playing and learning,” shared Rose Hayes, Festival Director. This family festival features activities in seven play areas: Physical, Literature, Music, STEM, Creative Arts, and Construction, and a new Health and Wellness area hosted in collaboration with the City of Worcester’s Division of Public Health. Dozens of local organizations and artists set up engaging activities for children ages 3-10 and their families.
Founded by Edward Street Child Services, Day of Play seeks to reintroduce families to the joy of playing with their children. “Support across the community for Day of Play is incredibly strong and grows annually. Each year dozens of organizations volunteer their time and talents to create this special festival which honors children and centers their learning in playful experiences,” notes Eve Gilmore, Executive Director of Edward Street.
This year’s adventure theme features a nod to Where the Wild Things Are, and includes a visit from a “Wild Thing”. There will be a book giveaway and community read along at 1:30 pm. Come play with Battletrak Legos, learn to hula hoop, or interact with snakes, frogs, lizards and even a tortoise with Skins and Scales. At 12:30, there will be a “Silly Time Magic Show” and a 1:45 the South High Marching Band will parade through the park. Also returning to the festival, Juggler Janoah Bailin, Crocodile River Music, and Teen Rock Bands from Worcester Music Academy, ArtReach, Jumpstart, and more! The REC Mobile Veggie Van, Libby (WPL’s Mobile Library), and emergency vehicles will be on hand for children to explore. The Southeast Asian Coalition Lion Dancers will help close out the festival leading a parade around the park.
Day of Play Planning Committee Member, Felictia Delossantos from Worcester Family Partnership shared her enthusiasm, “I love Day of Play. It’s a great opportunity for children and their families to work – and play – together. Regardless of the background language or developmental stage, every family can get involved.”
This year Edward Street Child Services is excited to collaborate with the City of Worcester’s Division of Public Health to add a health and wellness focus to Day of Play. Through the statewide Early Childhood Mental Health Partnership, the Worcester Division of Public Health is raising awareness about the importance of young children’s mental health. There are times when raising children can be challenging and we all could use a little help. At Day of Play families will be educated about the importance of childhood mental health even at the youngest ages, and encouraged to talk regularly with their pediatricians about the topic. For families who have children with challenging behaviors it’s about finding the “yes” and play is a big part of that. Because of strong ties between the Division of Public Health and UMass Medical School through the Academic Health Collaborative of Worcester, the new Health and Wellness area will also feature a Teddy Bear Clinic hosted by nursing school volunteers and a Car Seat Safety activity hosted by the Injury Free Coalition for Kids.
Day of Play is free and open to the public thanks to the generous support from local sponsors including Presenting Sponsors: Worcester Family Partnership, City of Worcester Division of Public Health, and the MA Department of Early Education and Care, and Play Area Sponsors: AbbVie, Hanover Insurance Group Foundation, and Contributing Sponsors: Cornerstone Bank, Seven Hills Foundation, Tufts Health Plan, Unibank, United Way of Central Massachusetts, Webster Five Cents Savings Bank, and Worcester County Chapter of MAAEYC.
For a full schedule of events and more information about the festival, visit http://www.worcesterdayofplay.org.
About Edward Street Child Services
Edward Street Child Services is a private, non-profit agency that collaborates to improve the quality and impact of early education and care, enhancing the development of young children and strengthening families in Central Massachusetts. Learn more at www.edwardstreet.org.
About City of Worcester Division of Public Health
The City of Worcester Division of Public Health is the first nationally accredited health department in Massachusetts as well as the only multi-jurisdictional accredited health department in the country. The Public Health Division is the lead agency of the Central MA Regional Public Health Alliance (CMRPHA). The CMRPHA is a coalition of seven municipalities (Towns of Grafton, Holden, Leicester, Millbury, Shrewsbury, and West Boylston and the City of Worcester) working cooperatively to create and sustain a viable, cost-effective, and labor-efficient regional public health district.