Children’s Art and Literacy Festival June 10-12 in Abilene | KTAB
Abilene Cultural Affairs Council press release:
The Children’s Art and Literacy Festival is back this summer with safety measures in place such as mandatory face masks and improved cleaning. Tractors, trucks and bats of all kinds will be in the spotlight at the festival from June 10 to 12. CALF will bring to life a variety of books by bestselling illustrator and author Loren Long. Downtown Abilene will be transformed into a storybook adventure with costumed characters, drama readings and performers in 17 locations.
Postponing the CALF from last year was one of the most difficult decisions Abilene Cultural Affairs Council has had to make, said Lynn Barnett, executive director of the council. She said it was the right thing to do given that most major events across the state and the United States have been called off due to safety concerns related to the pandemic.
“We missed seeing all of the downtown families wearing their CALF shirts and taking pictures with our costumed characters,” Barnett said. “But it was more important to keep everyone safe. We are delighted to be able to host the festival this year.
The festival kicks off to the public on Thursday evening June 10 with a Loren Long character costume contest followed by the Storybook Parade, the unveiling of the bronze sculptures of Otis the Tractor and his friend calf and artist, a lecture and a session of dedications. Long has written and illustrated nine books in the Otis the Tractor series. Long a putt puff puttedy has made its way into every bestseller list with Otis titles as well as a new edition of The Little Engine Could, the Trucktown series, Mr. Peabody’s Apples from Madonna, Nightsong on Chiro the bat and two baseball chapters book series.
Long will be in Abilene for the opening of his art exhibit at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature. Friday and Saturday festival-goers can choose from a wide selection of rewarding activities scattered around the city center. Kids collect souvenir buttons for their festival cords as they complete each activity, which includes dramatic readings from Long’s most popular books, train rides, a petting zoo of musical instruments and eternal childhood favorites as a magician and a balloon sculptor. New this year is a “Trucktown” Touch a Truck event where kids can explore and touch a variety of vehicles of all sizes.
The latest festival attracted nearly 5,300 people from 91 cities in Texas and 12 states.
Registration is open and passes are $ 8 for children aged 3 to 12 (children 2 and under are free) and $ 13 for children 13 and over. After May 15, passes cost $ 11 for children and $ 16 for adults. CALF is presented by the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, an affiliate of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce dedicated to promoting the arts and enriching life in Abilene. For more information and the full schedule of events, visit www.abilenecalf.com or call 325-677-1161.