Fantasy creatures will take over 31st annual Children’s Fest in Prince Rupert

Children’s Fest is returning to the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre on March 4th for the first time in three years.

Fairies, dwarves, elves, wizards and warlocks will be taking over the gyms at the 31st annual Children’s Fest, which would have been the 32nd if not for the COVID shutdown. The last publically attended event was the 29th celebration in 2020. The 30th children’s fest in 2021 was video broadcast in a different format.

The theme for this year’s event is “Fantasy,” Alex Hogendoorn, president of the Prince Rupert Special Events Society said.

The organization is inviting attendees to dress up as characters, such as a hobbit, an orc or fairies, from their favourite magical world.

Children will be able to have their faces adorned to look like mystical creatures by a face-painter who will transform them with paints in hand. Kids will be able to craft their own costume, whether it is a crown, headband or armband at the “imagination station”, Hogendoorn said.

The old-time much-loved bouncy castle will jump-start the little ones to a day of fun. A fish pond, beanbag toss and the returning fan-favourite plate-spinning with Ada Gee will entertain all ages. Gee uses a turntable-style apparatus that youngsters can douse with paint as it spins, Hogendoorn said.

One attraction that the president of the PRSE is personally most excited about is the foam sword fight. Teams of 12 will be lined up on both sides of the gym before facing off in an epic battle. Hogendoorn hinted that kids who come in costume may be given an extra advantage in the duel.

Children’s Fest this year will provide every child who attends an opportunity to experience the live-action role play (larping) battle, Hogendoorn said.

Activities run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the civic centre, followed by a free swim at the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

With the assistance of several community sponsors, including Chances Prince Rupert, Trigon, the Lion’s Club and the City of Prince Rupert, entrance to the day’s festivities is by donation so all families can attend.

The Prince Rupert Special Events Society hosts four events each year: Seafest, Canada Day, Winterfest and Children’s Fest. These events require volunteers and the society is still looking for people to help with set-up and take-down for Children’s Fest. Anyone who is interested can email

Kaitlyn Bailey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View