NoCo Children’s Festival brings community resources, books and more to downtown Greeley

The Northern Colorado Children’s Festival made its debut Saturday in downtown Greeley with a packed house at the Greeley Recreation Center and a ballroom at the DoubleTree by Hilton Greeley at Lincoln Park.

The event moved from its previous location at Island Grove Regional Park to the downtown area to draw more people to Lincoln Park and the surrounding businesses, explained Nicole Quinn, Community Engagement coordinator.

“Last year, we did a drive-thru event due to COVID, but here we are loving having it between the two areas,” Quinn said. “It gets people out and walking around the area and enjoying the park.”

GREELEY, CO – APRIL 09: Families walk through the tables lined up during the 2022 NoCO Children’s Festival in the ballroom of the DoubleTree by Hilton Greeley at Lincoln Park in downtown Greeley April 9, 2022. The event, hosted by United Way of Weld County , provides activities and connections to resources for families and children in the community. (Alex McIntyre / Staff Photographer)

The event, hosted by the United Way of Weld County and sponsored by the Downtown Development Authority, Waste Management, Telemundo Denver and Comcast, featured a variety of vendors, activities, organizations and community resources. Parent Abby Hill said it was a fun time.

“It’s cool to see all the people who want to outreach and give back,” she said.

Bikers Against Child Abuse, or BACA, Twin Peaks Chapter was on-site with two shined-up motorcycles attendees could sit on and get photos taken. Members also helped place temporary tattoos on kids – and some adults – handed out coloring books and helped educate attendees at the event about the organization’s mission and purpose.

GREELEY, CO – APRIL 09: Anthony Detwiler, a support of the organization Bikers Against Child Abuse, right, offers a spread of temporary tattoos to Jaelynn McConnell, 2, at the BACA booth during the 2022 NoCO Children’s Festival at the Greeley Recreation Center in downtown Greeley April 9, 2022. The event, hosted by United Way of Weld County, provides activities and connections to resources for families and children in the community. (Alex McIntyre / Staff Photographer)

BACA works to empower children through a member’s physical presence and support. The organization has several chapters around the US as well as in Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, Spain, Iceland and Italy. Members attend functions like the children’s festival to help raise awareness about child abuse.

Seva Community, Inc. returned for the festival for another year. The nonprofit helps support “early literacy of language development in children ages 0-6 years,” said Executive Director Terri Pappas.

“Our main goal is that kids learn best through meaningful activities with their adults,” she said. “We’ve been in existence since 2011, and I believe this is our eighth year.”

GREELEY, CO – APRIL 09: Jaelynn McConnell, 2, shows off her in-progress temporary tattoo to her brother, Jaxon McConnell, 5, and parents, not pictured, at the Bikers Against Child Abuse booth during the 2022 NoCO Children’s Festival in the Greeley Recreation Center in downtown Greeley April 9, 2022. The event, hosted by United Way of Weld County, provides activities and connections to resources for families and children in the community. (Alex McIntyre / Staff Photographer)

Kids of all ages could partake in a variety of activities including decorating frisbees, fishing in a kiddie pool, snacking on cotton candy and popcorn and visiting with members from the Greeley Fire and Police departments.

First-time attendees and friends Presley Hill and Lida Varner, both 11, walked away with bags filled with goodies.

“I got lots of really cool things that I will use, like stickers and pens and things I can decorate,” Presley said.

“I loved it because it is a cool experience to see all of these different people doing different stuff and giving away things,” Linda said.

For more information on the United Way of Weld County, go to www.unitedway-weld.org.

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