With the Atlin Arts and Music Festival taking the summer off, to re-tool and re-tune and re-fresh, Atlin residents may have suspected the second weekend of July would be relatively boring.

Instead, the streets will be filled with three- to five-year-olds looking for a good time on Friday, July 9.

“Overrun with three- to five-year-olds?” says Tammy Fetterly, co-coordinator of the Atlin Children’s Festival along with Trudy Robinson-Ewing. “That would be really wonderful.

“And, no, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

As the program manager for The Tlingit Family Learning Centre (TFLC), she is helping run this one-day event to increase awareness of the value of early childhood education.

Since caregivers will accompany the children, they can learn the lessons shared with them as the action unfolds.

“There are these beautiful posters explaining each area,” says Fetterly. “The posters list the benefits of this kind of play and they will see the importance of it.”

For example, Whitehorse’s Brian Fidler will be there with his puppet show. The poster says, among other things, the children can learn listening skills and how to sit still for the show.

Another Whitehorse performer, Lana Rae, will be entertaining … while slipping in lessons on listening skills and movement skills (her audiences like to dance along).

Then there is a Sand Pit with “gold nuggets” hidden in it. Some children have sensory issues – if a food has a different texture, they won’t eat it – and so this encourages them to get in there and mix it up with something different.

At The Garrett Store, Carolyn Moore’s dress-up corner will be there (as always) along with a professional photographer who will take photos of the different outfits the children come up with.

As well, the store will feature an art exhibit, featuring works by the children of the TFLC programs.

Fetterly hopes people will RSVP at (250) 651-7739 or at tflc@trtfn.com so that they will know how much food to provide. At that time, an itinerary and more information can be provided.

The entire day, Friday, is free with the assistance of the Early Childhood Educators of BC, Vancity Community Foundation and 2010 Legacies Now.

The day starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. The events are at the Globe Theatre, The Garrett Store and the Atlin Rec Centre.