A Beloved Illustrator, a Little Girl and a Not-So-Fearsome Monster meet at Kid Central Fest

Beloved children’s author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen returns to Kid Central Festival on May 6, 2017! We’re especially excited for the release of his newest picture book, Hattie & Hudson, and hope you will help us celebrate it’s launch. Chris will be reading and signing the new book along with other favorites including The Circus Ship and his other recent release, Even Monsters Need to Sleep.


Maine author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen is the creator of many outstanding books for children, including Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, If I Built a Car and Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit. He is also the illustrator of President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath by Mac Barnett and the best-selling Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo.

Copies of Chris’ books will be available for sale from The Briar Patch children’s bookstore in downtown Bangor. You are also welcome to bring copies from your home library to get signed.

About Hattie & Hudson:

A little girl and her colossal friend teach a monster-size lesson about prejudging others in a charming new offering from Chris Van Dusen.

Hattie McFadden is a born explorer. Every morning she grabs her life jacket and paddles out in her canoe to discover something new on the lake, singing a little song on her way. When her singing draws up from the depths a huge mysterious beast, everyone in town is terrified — except Hattie, who looks into the creature’s friendly, curious eyes and knows that this is no monster. So Hattie sneaks out at night to see the giant — whom she names Hudson — and the two become friends. But how can she make the frightened, hostile townspeople see that Hudson isn’t scary or dangerous at all? Chris Van Dusen brings his colorful, perspective-bending artwork to this satisfying new story about acceptance, friendship, and sticking up for those who are different.

Save the Date for This Year’s Festival

BangPop! presents the seventh annual Kid Central Festival in Downtown Bangor on Saturday, May 6th. With the help of local businesses, museums and other arts organizations, families will enjoy a wealth of fun and free activities both indoors and outside. From music to crafts, face painting to the annual superhero costume contest, there are activities for everyone ages 12 and under. Kid Central Festival begins at 10 am and continues until 3 pm. Schedule and more information will soon be available soon.

These Kids are the Stars!

There were singers, little and big and dancers twirling across our stage. Costumes, ice cream, jokes and face painting too! Don’t forget the tomato seeds, flowers planted, tie dye and more, too. These are just a few of the things that made the beautiful Saturday amazing. Thank you everyone for bringing the fun to the 6th annual Kid Central Festival. See you next year on the first Saturday of May! (5/6/2017)

All photos by Justin Russell Photography

Kid Central’s Got Talent!

Talent ShowAnnouncing the Talent Show at the Darling’s Children’s Pavilion! For the first time, Kid Central Festival will host a Talent Show thanks to our Play All Day sponsor Darling’s.

Kids 12 and under will be able to show off their individual flair or expertise on the outdoor stage in Norumbega Parkway. Whether you have a knack for singing, playing the ukulele, hula hooping, dancing or have master yoyo skills, we invite you to show off your special talents.

It’s a perfect combination with Lynn Plourde‘s appearance at this year’s Kid Central Festival as she reads and signs copies of her newest book, You’re Doing THAT in the Talent Show?!

Registration to perform in the Talent Show is free and can be found below.

Near the stage, Darling’s will also be hosting a Ford Test Drive Event to benefit John Bapst Project Graduation. Drivers may enter to win a $50 gift card to The Briar Patch for test driving a car at John Bapst that day.


So Much Fun Coming Your Way at Kid Central Festival on Saturday, May 7th!

We’re posting some sneak peeks of the assortment of great activities happening at this year’s Kid Central Festival throughout the day today. Check back to see more fun stuff added to the list below!

Printing and Planting for the Future

Beal-College-125th-logoSharing & Caring sponsor Beal College understands the importance of local, hands-on education. Have fun getting your hands dirty with a finger printing art project and flower planting for Mother’s Day. Follow “diploma road” as it leads to their fun activities.

Beal’s mission is to become partners with their students in their journey to improve their career opportunities through the contemporary academic programs offered at the college.

Kid Central Scavenger Hunt

Explore BangorJoin one of Downtown Bangor’s newest businesses for a scavenger hunt throughout the downtown. Stop in to Explore Bangor and pick up clues before heading out on your hunt. Return with your completed lists and collect your prize! (A mobile phone or digital camera is required for this activity. Make sure you ask your parents first.)

Explore Bangor offers access to all the beauty and adventure of Bangor, Maine. Bicycles, Kayaks, SUPs, as well as retail offerings of the same and much more. Located at 25 Hammond Street.

Bicycle Rentals

You’re Doing THAT at Kid Central Festival?!


We’re very excited to announce our first Special Guest for the 2016 Kid Central Festival scheduled for May 7. We’ll be joined by the amazing children’s author LYNN PLOURDE! Lynn will be making her first appearance ever at Kid Central Festival. She’ll be reading and signing copies of her upcoming book, You’re Doing THAT in the Talent Show?!, and can’t wait to meet all the talented kids at the event this year.

Warning: She may be dressed up as the title character, Penelope.

Lynn PlourdeLynn Plourde is the author of more than 30 children’s books, mostly picture books, but also a graphic novel and a middle grade novel. She’s a teaching author who has done hundreds of visits to schools where she shares her books interactively, acts some out as plays, and teaches writing mini-lessons to students. Lynn is a native Mainer who frequently uses her home state for inspiration when writing. She currently lives in Winthrop, Maine, with her husband. You can learn more at her website: www.lynnplourde.com

Happy Kid Central Day!

Is your costume ready? T-shirt for tie dying in the bag? Emergency snacks packed? Then you must be ready for the 2015 Kid Central Festival!

The fun starts at 10 AM. Be sure to stop in to Kid Central HQ (Bagel Central) and pick up your Activity Map. Here’s a sneak peek below and a link to download a copy of the Activity Map at home –> I’m a link!

See you soon and DON’T FORGET THE KIDS!!!

2015 KCF Program_Page_2

2015 KCF Program_Page_1

Growing Healthier Communities at Kid Central Festival

One TomatoThis year, the newly formed Bangor Area Food Council joins us with a great activity outdoors, the One Tomato project! They will challenge kids to grow one tomato plant this summer, help them transplant tomato seedlings into pots, and share information on how to grow those plants into delicious, nutritious tomatoes for their families. Each participant will be able to take their new transplanted tomato home with them. Additionally, parents can talk with Food Council members about what they are up to and how to get involved.

tomatoesThrough enhanced collaboration and communication, the Bangor Area Food Council educates about healthy food, advocates for greater food access, and supports the growth of available channels between local farmers, producers, and consumers. 

The One Tomato project will be held in Norumbega Parkway from 10 am – 3 pm.