June 09--HAVERHILL -- An estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people attended KidsFEST yesterday.
The turnout "exceeded our expectations," said Jen Cantwell, vice president of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, which has organized the festival since 2008.
This year's KidsFEST took place at the Kimball Farm on East Broadway. For the past few years, the festival has been held on the Merrimack Street parking deck.
There were no traffic problems, Cantwell said. The parking lot was full most of the time and a team of volunteers made sure vehicles moved in and out smoothly, she added.
The chamber, she said, is very grateful to the Kimball family for allowing KidsFEST to be held at their farm. When the water ran out, Tyler Kimball "saved the day" by replenishing the supply, Cantwell said.
"The community really came out," she said, with people from all sections of Haverhill enjoying KidsFEST, an annual event that goes back at least 25 years.
The festival offered live entertainment, including the Haverhill Junior and Senior Idol singing competitions; a giant mural art project sponsored by the Haverhill Cultural Council; a live petting zoo; pony rides; a Velcro wall jump; helicopter rides; water balloon toss; teddy bear and doll clinics; bongo playing; giant bubbles; vintage fire trucks; a Ghostbusters car; the Clean River Project educational program; a bouncy house; face painting; and the Old MacDonald video booth.
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