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18th Annual KidFest celebration educates children, parents

By Cpl. John Wilkes | | April 12, 2013


Each year, the Tri-Command and Marine Corps Community Services organizes a free event to celebrate children and educate their parents.

KidFest, now in its 18th year, is a festival meant to increase the public’s awareness on the struggles military children go through while raising awareness on child abuse, said Jeanette L. Smith, an event coordinator for MCCS. April has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month and Month of the Military Child for nearly 30 years.

The event offers a variety of free activities and entertainment while educating children and their parents.

"When my children first began going to school, many of their friends had parents that deployed, or they didn’t really get to see their parents due to their long working hours," said Kiera Holding, a stay at home mother with three children. "Having come to KidFest, my children gained a better understanding of what these children go through."

Throughout the day children played games and spent time with their families all while learning in a fun environment.

"I remember coming here 15 years ago when my first son was 2 years old," said Holding. "It is a great way to entertain my children for free and get myself up-to-date information on child safety. It especially helped when I was a new parent."

KidFest is a wonderful way for families to learn about keeping their children safe and it helps gain support for military children, said Smith. It’s a great day of learning and fun for both military and civilian families.