The Children’s Festival will return on July 9-11 after two years ago at COVID

Anne Biller, the Queen of Children’s Festival this year, reads a children’s book to her library at Medford. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Anne Biller, queen of the Children’s Festival this year, reads a children’s book at her home library in Medford. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]

After a short two-year hiatus from her beloved 50-year-old celebration, Children’s Festival will return this summer to the Britt Festival in Jacksonville.

Volunteers are planning to return after two years of banned activities during the epidemic.

“X Marks the Spot,” a pirate-themed shindig chock full of art, stories and entertainment, was launched July 9-11.

The first one was held in 1967, as a small storytelling program called “Child Happiness’ n Fantasy Afternoon,” found 500 children who came in two days. More than 50 years later, the event has taken place, with thirteen handicrafts, exhibitions, entertainment and other fun activities for children on a three-day walk.

The art gallery handles a wide range of subjects ranging from leather treading, gold-plating and tie-dye to beads, painting and the abundance of scientific materials. The fairy tale is scattered throughout the festival in addition to all the fun at the Britt Festival stage.

Although 500 participants in 1967 were considered “big,” the organizers have seen 10,000 in recent years.

Reporting Group President Lara Knackstedt said the three-day extension had become so important in local families during the summer that members of the council tried to do small things when the big ceremony did not take place.

Last year, about 600 books went to children in libraries in Talent, White City and Jacksonville.

“We did small parties in three different libraries. We exchanged books and had time to talk and dance with handicrafts. It was on a much smaller scale,” Knackstedt said.

“We are thrilled that we have finally returned to our mountain festival in all its glory. It is very appealing to the families who have lived together, and it is difficult to describe all of this to someone who has never experienced it. ”

More fun than artistic and entertaining, Knackstedt said, with the signature mascots, dragons Rosabelle and Pebbles, who are “very excited to see all the kids again.”

Mascots are known to encourage festival goers to recycle and collect waste. Knackstedt said it was not uncommon for children to bring garbage home or pick up grass for litter – just to get a chance to “talk” with one of the wolves.

“It’s a great act, of course. The children love it very much,” he added.

Another interesting feature of the festival is that children have the opportunity to be called a prince, a daughter, a queen or any other subject they can dream of.

The crowned queen recently at this year’s festival is a member of the Reporting Group and former Jackson County library manager, Anne Billerer, who will preside over this year’s event. Billeter said he was thrilled to see thousands of happy faces gathering in the mountains of laughter.

Billeter said the festival is a very popular tradition, with many families in Rogue Valley attending as children, playing in the arena or returning as volunteers to help with the event. Celebratory terms such as “garbage” and “queen” may seem silly to those who have never been there, he said, but returning guests are welcome.

“I remember the first time I heard that there was a queen. I was in a library management meeting. Someone came along and said, ‘I’m sorry; I was at the queen’s picnic. ‘ He said, ‘So is the queen now.’ And we were very surprised. Now, I am not ready because I have been a member for many years, and it is a great honor, ”he said.

“Some kids want to go anywhere and do whatever they want, while others just want to have the whole thing they want. I always thought that one of the real things, when I was taking my son to the party, was that he wanted me to work all the time as a carpenter. He would have done this at home, but we never thought about it, ”he said.

“Kids try to do things they have never done before. When people want to know what I really like about the festival, it was the year my son was excited to go carpentry because he wanted to make a bed for his bear.

“Late in the evening – and it was one of the most beautiful summer evenings we had – as everyone walked down the stairs and back to the parking lot … my son was holding a panda bed in his arms, and he looked up at me and said, ‘I know what I will do it next year. ‘

“That’s the way it is,” he said.

This year’s festival will take place from 4:30 to 8:30 pm Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and 10, and from 9:30 am to 1pm Monday, July 11th.

Admission is $ 3 per person, per day. To help keep the legal price low, unchanged over the past decade, people are being asked to donate to

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Contact freelance writer Buffy Pollock at

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