For the first time ever the Penticton Peach Festival is taking over Gyro Park in the mornings with the Home Hardware Kid Zone.

“It is the 70th anniversary of Peach Festival and we wanted to incorporate something new this year. Gyro Park is going to be packed full of things for kids and families to do before the gates to Okanagan Lake Park open for the main entertainment,” said Don Kendall, president of the Penticton Peach Festival.

Running 9 a.m. to noon, from Aug. 9 to 11, the Home Hardware Kid Zone will feature headlining acts on the bandshell stage, face-painting, craft tables, balloon animals, a bouncy castle and the Penticton Public Library will have a reading corner and puppet shows.

“We are always looking for ways to incorporate events for all ages and we want to thank Home Hardware for helping make this possible,” said Rebecca Ogden, Peach Festival co-vice president, who organizes the A&W Kids Day and Home Hardware Kid Zone.

The Reptile Guy’s Wild Education will bring the jungle to Gyro Park. They offer the most hands-on and educational experience, bringing some of the world’s most unique animals to the public in a safe environment.

Ventriloquist and family entertainer Kellie Haines has performed at festivals and schools across Canada as a puppeteer and singer for TV.

At the age of eight she started talking and singing to her stuffed animals and when the puppets started talking back she knew she had a show. Haines has Tourette’s syndrome but when she did talent shows it helped her overcome her challenges. Since then she has been teaching kids how to turn their individual challenges into successes.

Haines and her two friends, Kamilla the frog and Magrau the bird — explore the differences in people, nature and universe. Her show, filled with comedy, singing, dancing and high kicks, will keep you guessing who is pulling the strings.

Also performing in Gyro Park is Kiki the Eco Elf (Tanya Lipscomb) offering a wide-variety of entertainment options stilt-walking, face-painting and clowning. Her enthusiasm, music, magic and charisma will enchant and dazzle young and old alike.

Lipscomb has released three independent children’s albums, performed at hundreds of festivals and has shared the stage and opened for Charlotte Diamond, Fred Penner, Splash n’ Boots and Bobs & Lolo.

Kids Zone schedule is available by click here.