Biggest kids’ festival not just for children

Artist Karin Janssen, who brought her  Enchanted Loft to the Winter Garden, as part of Sheffield Children's Festival
Artist Karin Janssen, who brought her Enchanted Loft to the Winter Garden, as part of Sheffield Children's Festival
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Giant board games, talent-packed theatre shows and amazing artworks will be combined in a Sheffield festival that is the biggest of its kind in the UK.

Sheffield Children’s Festival is now in its 21st year of providing exciting activities for children and families to enjoy and show off their creative or performing arts talents - and over the years it has involved more than a quarter of a million people.

Action Painting took place at Kellham Island Museum as part of Sheffield Childrens Festival..Artsit Chris Squire with youngsters from LtoR. Jenna Payne,Emma Pons,Mia Virgo-Cox

Action Painting took place at Kellham Island Museum as part of Sheffield Childrens Festival..Artsit Chris Squire with youngsters from LtoR. Jenna Payne,Emma Pons,Mia Virgo-Cox

This year it runs from Saturday, June 15, to Saturday, July 7, and organisers are building up for another busy programme.

Last summer almost 36,000 youngsters, parents and carers took part.

Coun Julie Dore, leader of festival organiser Sheffield Council, said: “The Sheffield Children’s Festival is all about getting involved.

“Not just the children who are performing or showcasing their work but parents, carers, families, everyone in the city.

“The festival works on many levels so families, parents and siblings can get involved too.

“For more than 20 years the children’s festival has been giving children a chance to get involved in the arts. Over the years well over a quarter of a million children, young people and families have taken part in Sheffield Children’s Festival.

“That is a staggering number of people - so pick up a programme and make sure you get involved too.”

The programme for this year’s events is out now and people across the city and beyond are being encouraged to get involved in everything from colourful exhibitions to quirky workshops, from show-stopping performances to fun family events.

Artwork for the brochure was provided by Sheffield-based artist James Green and will be included in an exhibition at Weston Park Museum next year.

James said: “As a father I have really appreciated the Sheffield Children’s Festival which gives children such a wonderful insight into the performing arts of Sheffield.

“It is great to see it developing over the years and a real honour to be asked to create the artwork for such a worthwhile event.”

More schools than ever before are joining the festival to show off their pupils’ skills.

Many have already been busy rehearsing and working with professional artists to create their own art, including a huge sculpture called ‘Steel City Cascade’ which will be hung from the roof of the Winter Garden.

The festival brochure is available now from libraries, children’s play centres, shops, cafes, theatres, the Winter Garden and venues across the city or at www.sheffieldchildrensfestival.org

Vinci Construction UK, which is revamping schools across Sheffield in the Building Schools for the Future project, sponsors the event.

Regional director Keith Shivers said: “It is great to support the stars of the future.

“There is so much going on in the city and the Sheffield Children’s Festival provides yet another way for families to get involved.”

Follow @ChildrensFest on Twitter for updates.