New Experiences Highlight Danish Festival Children’s Events

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GREENVILLE – Whether your children are passionate about crafts, performing arts, or just interacting with other children among a variety of toys, the 58th Annual Danish Festival Children’s Events will be there to keep them entertained.

This year’s Danish festival will see the return of a Lego competition for children, located at the Flat River Community Library in Greenville. — Photo from DN file

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., children’s events will take place on Lafayette Street (near Montcalm Street) on August 19 and 20.

“We will have things for infants through to toddlerhood,” said Karen Marsman, director of the Danish Festival of Children’s Events. “We have Legos, we have crafts, we have things like trucks and cars that they can play with. We have kitchen utensils, we have dolls, we have dress up clothes.

While the focus will be on a good experience for children, Marsman said they haven’t forgotten about mothers.

“We will also have a changing and breastfeeding station for moms,” Marsman said. “Of course, it will be a private space. It will be in an enclosed tent so they can have privacy.

Danish Festival executive director Kristen Videan said the theme for this year’s children’s events was Legos.

“We kind of did the Lego theme through all the kids competitions,” Videan said. “The Legos were designed and created in Denmark, so it’s something I wanted to bring to the whole board of children’s events.”

Those who have participated in previous years may be familiar with some events. However, there will be three new events, one of which is a coloring contest.

The coloring contest started on July 15 and participants had until August 12 to submit their pages. For Videan, the addition of the coloring contest is reminiscent of his childhood.

“I remember the Danish festival when I was a kid, we used to have the coloring contest and it was one of my favorite things when I was a kid,” Videan said.

Sticking with the Lego theme, both coloring options feature Lego characters. If you would like to help select the winners, ballots and completed pages can be found at the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.

The Lego competition will also make its first appearance at the Danish Festival.

Scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 20 in Stafford Room at the Flat River Community Library, contestants can choose between building a house or a library that must fit on a 10-inch-by-10-inch board. Prizes will be awarded by age group.

“Winners will be announced at the end of the contest,” Marsman said. “There will be prizes for first, second and third place in each age category. And then each child who participates will leave with a snack.

Children’s events will also include a petting zoo on Fridays from 2-4 p.m. The petting zoo will be operated by Deer Tracks Junction in Cedar Springs.

Along with all the new events, the Drive-in Movie returns August 18 at dusk, with “The Lego Movie” airing at Montcalm Community College Greenville Campus.

Participants are encouraged to register in advance at danishfestival.org.

“We definitely have more space for more people,” Videan said. “It’s only $5 per car to get in.”

The Danish Dandies will also perform several times throughout the weekend, starting August 18 at 7 p.m. when they perform at Tower Riverside Park alongside the Danish Festival Band.

“They worked really hard,” Videan said. “I went to every practice and watched them. They all really care. It’s the biggest band we’ve ever had. So if we could have a big turnout, I think that would be great.

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