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Kidapalooza boasts rides, activities

| Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2005

Pittsburgh parents tired of keeping kids cooped up for the winter can get out for some family fun this weekend.

The fifth annual Kidapalooza Family Festival is scheduled for Saturday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

"As we near the end of winter -- being a mother -- I know kids are stir crazy," says Marie Stover, senior event manager at Infinity Broadcasting. "It's an in-between time between the holidays and spring sports, so this is just a great excuse ... to do something as a family." Infinity Broadcasting's Pittsburgh team of radio stations is presenting the event.

At the festival, families can participate in indoor activities spread out over more than 80,000 square feet. New this year, Kidapalooza will feature Dizzy Dragon, a colorful collection of dragons suitable for adults or children to ride. The STATMedEvac crew also will be there, with a helicopter for children to explore.

Live entertainment will include "FairyTale Fiasco" on the main stage. Stover says this version of classic tales will highlight famous characters such as Aladdin, Captain Hook, Snow White and Cinderella. "It's a pop-music type of onstage play that gets the audience on their feet so they dance," Stover says.

Children can meet Strawberry Shortcake, the Cat in the Hat and Veggie Tales' Larry Boy at the festival's Cartoon Camp.

Pittsburgh Passion, Pittsburgh's women's football team, will present football 101 tips for both boys and girls.

Children can test their artistic talents in Kidapalooza's Creative Corner. UTRECHT is donating art supplies and will provide sketch artists from whom kids can get a charcoal sketch for free or for a donation to Juvenile Diabetes. Face painting also will be available.

In addition, children can enjoy an indoor carousel, inflatable rides, Toddler Town for children age 3 and younger, a petting zoo, and karaoke.

"There are more smiles at this event," says Don Oylear vice president and general manager at Infinity. "You have a huge number of children and young families, and you hear very little crying because the kids want to do every last thing that is available.

"I think if we can match the excitement and enthusiasm in years past, then it will be a good time," he says.

Additional Information:

Details

Kidapalooza

When : 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday

Admission : $9; $6 for ages 3 to 11; free for age 2 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

The American Dairy Association is offering two free tickets with product purchases at Giant Eagle.

Where : David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown

Details : www.kidapalooza.com

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