Hundreds gathered for the inaugural Children's Interactive Festival hosted by Free Books for Kids Town in downtown Warren on May 6, 2023. Photo by Brian Hagberg.

Children’s Interactive Festival Gives Kids Hands-On Experiences

May 8, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – Hundreds gathered in downtown Warren on Saturday for the inaugural Children’s Interactive Festival hosted by Free Books for Kids Town.

Second Avenue was closed from Liberty Street to the fountain downtown and was filled with books and interactive exhibits for kids to explore.

“This was all about giving the kids a chance to use their hands,” Free Books for Kids Town Director Ruby Wiles said. “It turns out the research shows we’re not gonna have the surgeons we need because our kids aren’t doing enough with their hands. You need it, you need to be able to Crochet and knit and play with playdough.”

Some of the interactive displays included bowling, the WQLN Stream Machine, and “fishing” for rubber ducks in the fountain. Attendees were also able to test their knowledge of Dr. Seuss books and U.S. citizenship. The event coincided with Free Comic Book Day, which is held on the first Saturday in May every year to encourage kids to become active readers.

“We have tried for many years to join in with a national Free Comic Book Day,” Wiles said. “It’s a big celebration.”

With the first event being so successful, Wiles said plans are already in the works to expand for next year.

“We want to make it bigger,” Wiles said. “I’m going to see if we can rent the Northwest (conference) room next year for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and maybe do the book sale the night before.”

For more information about the Free Books for Kids Town program, email [email protected].

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