Worcester’s 11th annual Day of Play Family Festival is Saturday, September 17th from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm at Elm Park. (Rain date: September 18th.) Join the fun and experience more than 40 free activities and performances.
“Day of Play connects children and families to the joy of playing and learning,” shared Eve Gilmore, Edward Street Executive Director. “After two years of virtual festivals, we are thrilled to return to Elm Park and play in-person!”
Founded by Edward Street in 2010, the Day of Play Family Festival features seven play areas for children ages 3-10 and their families: Active, Reading, Creative Arts, STEM, Construction, Health & Wellness, and a new Mindfulness Play area. Activities in each play area were developed by dozens of local organizations and artists.
The 2022 Day of Play features a neighborhood theme highlighted by a community read along of Daniel’s Good Day by WPS Superintendent Dr. Rachel Monárrez and Hanover Theatre actor Will Sheerin, who will pantomime Daniel’s Good Day alongside Monárrez. Other festival performers include Mister Vic, Chuck & Mud, and The Hip Swayers. At 1:45 the South High Marching Band will parade through the park. Also returning to the festival are juggler Janoah Bailin, Crocodile River Music, Corey Scott, Jumpstart, and more! The REC Mobile Veggie Van, Libby (WPL’s Mobile Library), and emergency vehicles will be on hand for children to explore. The Southeast Asian Coalition Lion Dancers will help close out the festival with a parade around the park.
Edward Street is excited to announce a new mindfulness play area for 2022. Designed in collaboration with Edward Street Board Member and mindfulness consultant Wendy O’Leary, the mindfulness area will help children and families understand and explore emotions. It includes opportunities to practice yoga and create “Monster Puppets” that represent the big feelings people may experience in a given day.
Support for Day of Play grows annually. Dozens of organizations have volunteered their time and talents to create the 2022 Day of Play Family Festival.
Day of Play is free and open to the public, thanks to the generous support from local sponsors including: Presenting Sponsors Worcester Family Partnership and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care; Activity Sponsors Eastern Bank, Hanover Insurance Group Foundation, Guild of St. Agnes, Webster Five Foundation; and Contributing Sponsors Berkshire Bank, Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester, Country Bank, Middlesex Savings Bank, Price Chopper, Wegmans; and Supporting Sponsors Cornerstone Bank, Worcester County Chapter of MAAEYC, YWCA of Central MA.
Day of Play Planning Committee Member Felicita De Los Santos from Worcester Family Partnership shared her enthusiasm, saying, “I love Day of Play. It’s a great opportunity for children and their families to work and play together. Regardless of their background language or developmental stage, every family can enjoy Day of Play.”