KIDSPO: Inaugural event aims to connect kids, families with community resources, activities

Ask any parent with young children what they want most, and a common response is having more time to spend together. Kidspo-Logo

The inaugural KIDSPO Kids & Family Expo will roll into the Eagan Community Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, to provide families with a day of fun, food and making connections.

KIDSPO, which is being organized by Sun Thisweek, the Dakota County Tribune and Sun Current, aims to give families a chance to take part in a wide range of activities, watch live entertainment and learn about the organizations and businesses that can help them get the most out of their busy lives.

“We think this will be a great opportunity for families to connect with each other and the community,” said Krista Jech, the event’s marketing manager. “Kids will have a blast with the activities we have planned.”

Another desire parents have for their children is to be active. Research has shown that physical activity helps kids boost academic achievement, stay healthy and improve communication at home.

KIDSPO will not only give young people ways to play at the event but also link them organized activities and other resources in the community.
Exhibitors

Local businesses and organizations won’t want to miss an opportunity to connect with families in their community.

They can do that through exhibitor booths and sponsorships.

Exhibitors may choose between single a 8-by-10 foot booth for $495 or a double 8-by-20 foot booth for $750.

With both kinds of booths, exhibitors will receive a table, two chairs, concession gift certificates, website presence, full color advertisement in the KIDSPO special section and access to promotional materials.

“With the booths, we are encouraging our exhibitors to make them as interactive as possible,” Jech said. “So the fun and games will fill the room all around.”

Among the expected categories of exhibitors will be medical, education, entertainment, retailers, clubs, nonprofits, sports, home services, home improvement, travel, health, home-based business opportunities and beauty.

Sponsorship opportunities are available starting at $1,250, which includes a booth, sponsor level category exclusivity, inclusion on all pre-event marketing opportunities throughout the summer and a large presence in the targeted special section reaching 80,000 homes in September.

Current sponsors of the event are:

Gold Sponsors: Park Chrysler Jeep of Burnsville, Primrose Schools of Eagan and Lakeville.

Silver Sponsors: Ballet Royale Academy of Dance, Twin Cities Ballet Minnesota, Christian Heritage Academy, Thoroughbred Carpet & Floors, Fairview Hospitals & Clinics, Hirshfield’s and US Federal Credit Union.

For more information, contact Krista Jech at 952-392-6835 (krista.jech@ecm-inc.com) or click on the Exhibitor Info tab on kidspo2013.com.

Activities

Filling the Community Center’s 80,000-square-foot gym will be carnival games, inflatables, Wii games, a scavenger hunt, Studio Bodair of Lakeville’s crazy hair and The Works Museum of Bloomington’s engineering and art activities.

The Eagan Fire Department members will talk about fire safety and the Cataract Lodge of Bloomington will be hosting the KidsID and Take 25 Program. The KidsID program aims to help law enforcement officials track a lost child through digital fingerprints, voice recording and photo; height and weight information; cheek swab (for DNA); computer disc and laminated ID cards. There will be a limited number of slots available during the event. Watch for more information on pre-registration in the coming weeks.

A stage will allow visitors to watch short demonstrations and performances throughout the day, such as a sneak peek of “The Nutcracker” by Twin Cities Ballet, Heartbeat Studios teen choir, a fashion show from Old Navy and group activities led by Primrose Schools staff.

Miss Outstanding Teen Minnesota Corrina Swiggum will also be on hand for photos and announce at the fashion show.

More acts are being added throughout the summer; visit kidspo2013.com to see an updated list.

There will be lunch and snack options at several Green Mill food booths.

Local authors Gordon Fredrickson (“Farm Country” and “If I Were a Farmer” series) and Lynn Garthwaite (Dirkle Smat series) will read from their books and sign copies in the lobby.

Kids Corner, sponsored by Sesame Street Live, will have activities for young children and appearances by characters throughout the day.

The first 300 children through the door will each receive a voucher to a performance of Sesame Street Live’s “Make a New Friend,” Jan. 24-26, 2014, at Target Center.

Admission to KIDSPO is free, but some activities will require tickets (50 cents each on the day of the event) or unlimited play wristbands. Wristbands can be purchased in advance for $7 starting July 1 by going online to http://kidspo2013.com or $10 at the door.

The Eagan Community Center, 1501 Central Parkway, is located off Pilot Knob Road between I-494 and I-35E.

More information is online at http://kidspo2013.com.

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