Kidsfest draws 1,500 kids and families to Nashua’s new YMCA

Over 1,500 children and their families made the inaugural “Kidsfest” a huge success. The event took place at the YMCA’s Westwood Park facility at 90 Northwest Blvd. in Nashua on Saturday, Mar. 7.

Organized by the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce, the day was chock-full of free activies geared towards kids of all ages and featured more than 75 booths with free, fun activities, crafts, games, giveaways, karate demonstrations and several dance troupes.

Other partner sponsors included the YMCA of Greater Nashua, The Dance Company, Southern N.H. Health, United Way of Greater Nashua, Fully Promoted, All American Party Rentals, DJ RON DMC, Amherst Label Parenting N.H. magazine, Service Credit Union and Classic Signs.

SVCC president and CEO Wendy Hunt said community generosity and many volunteers help make ‘Kidsfest’ a resounding hit.

“The planning and the success of this wonderful event was two-fold,” she said. “First, the generosity of our sponsors who partnered with us in presenting this free community event; and two, due to the ‘Kidsfest’ committee members who worked for four months in planning the on the many details of putting on an event this size.”

She added that, “We also could not have handled all the logistics the day of the event without the many volunteers who turned out that day– especially the board members of the Chamber.”

Outside the Y, kids had the chance to “touch a truck’ as they stepped inside a Nashua Police S.W.A.T team vehicle, explored the many spectacular intricacies of an actual Nashua fire truck, saw the inside of a Lifeline ambulance and took a seat in a Merrimack police car.

“Let’s hope this is the only time this ever happens,” joked one mom as her child climbed into the cruiser.

The day provided free one-week passes to the ‘Y’, bike raffles, face painting and two bounce houses.

“We’re overwhelmed by this turnout,” said Elizabeth Covino, YMCA director of community relations. “We hoped for a great reception and this exceeded our expectations.”

The audience cheered as dancers of all ages participated in several performances set to rock songs while clowns entertained the crowd.

The catwalk above the gymnasium floor was filled with spectators taking everything in.

“My grandkids are having a ball,” said Mike Norton of Nashua. “These types of events are great for the kids and for the community. The YMCA was a special part of my growing up — I took swim lessons there. So, it’s so nice to see my grandkids having fun. It’s a fantastic atmosphere.”

Manny Faez of Hudson also took his grandchildren to the event.

“Their eyes were so big as they looked around this giant space,” he shared. “There were so many things for them to try and experience — they didn’t know where to begin.”