Frequently Asked Questions

Coming to Enjoy the Festival

What do we need to know?

The Children and the Arts Festival day is a fun, exciting day for thousands of local children from 1 to 101.We are glad that you are coming to join us for this day. A few reminders:

  • Parking is limited in the immediate downtown area.
  • Performances begin close to 9:00 and while crowds tend to taper off after 2 pm, our activities run to 3 or 4 pm and you may still have a good audience.
  • Usually the UU Church hosts a pancake breakfast starting at 8:00.
  • The Festival happens RAIN or SHINE (or SNOW!)
  • Although we love our pets, the Festival is not an appropriate place for your dog or other pet. Please leave them home – the high-energy atmosphere can stress even the most comfortable dogs. The Peterborough Police have had injuries in the past and would like us to encourage a dog-free downtown on Festival day.
  • The Festival focus is the students of the ConVal school district and local youth groups have priority.

What is going on and where?

Programs are available at our information booth in front of the Monadnock Center for History and Culture or at our website www.childrenandthearts.org. Each year venues adjust based on the arts performing, but our standard venues are:

  • Peterborough Town House – 1 Grove Street
  • Monadnock Center for History and Culture – Bass Hall – 19 Grove Street
  • Grove Street – In front of the Town House and the Monadnock Center for History and Culture
  • Unitarian Church – 25 Main Street
  • Putnam Park – Grove Street

We also sometimes have programs or activities in:

  • Mariposa Museum – 26 Main Street
  • Sharon Arts Center – 30 Grove Street
  • Peterborough Community Theater – 6 School Street
  • Peterborough Town Library – 2 Concord Street
  • Depot Park/Depot Square
  • Boccelli Park – Grove Street, Across from Putnam
  • Open space behind the Veterans Gates, between the Peterborough Town House and the Monadnock Center for History and Culture

Where can I get information or help?

The Children and the Arts Festival Committee has an information booth on the lawn in front of the Monadnock Center for History and Culture. All of our committee members are wearing bright pink committee shirts. Our volunteers are in orange volunteer shirts.

What is the art walk?

Local student art is displayed in the windows of downtown merchants. Maps are available at our information booth in front of the Monadnock Center for History and Culture on Grove Street. They are also available on our website – www.childrenandthearts.org. They are also up a few days before and after the Festival – and are a lovely way to extend the Festival day.

Where can I park?

Parking downtown is limited, but there are several lots which are a short walk to downtown. You may park in the side lot of the Peterborough Community Center, Valley Automotive, or Bowling Acres on Elm Street. (Elm Street itself is no parking.) There is some parking at Peterborough Elementary School. There is very limited parking in the SKIP parking area on Vine Street. Downtown, there is a community parking lot near the fire station and limited parking at the library. The shopping center at Route 101 and 202 is available for parking. Please do not park on Grove Street where the Festival events occur. We don’t want your car to be damaged. Please be aware that if you park in such a way that traffic is impeded, the police have to ticket or tow your vehicle – which makes the Festival day much less fun!

Parade

I want to participate in the parade. What do I need to know?

  • Parade starts promptly at 12 noon. The route is from Peterborough Elementary School on High Street to Putnam Park on Grove Street. Groups do not need to be waiting at PES until a few minutes before 12- which means you do not need to head up to Peterborough Elementary until after 11:30.
  • Please use crosswalks to cross and follow the directions of traffic monitors. It is dangerous to cross on the Main St Hill before the crosswalk. Look for volunteers in pink or orange shirts if you need help or are disconnected from your group.
  • If you are dropping off puppet, art, or other paraphernalia we suggest that you do that early in the morning and not right before the parade. High Street will be closed to car traffic BEFORE the parade begins, normally around 11:45. You will be UNABLE to drive to PES right before the parade.
  • We will close the entrance to PES to vehicle traffic when there is no longer parking available. We will not allow drop-offs at PES because it is dangerous for the children who are lining up. Please do not plan to drop off children or supplies from 11:30 on.
  • Please have an agreed meeting place at PES for your group. There will be hundreds of children there excited to be part of the parade and it is stressful for the kids when they don’t know where to go.
  • There is a port-o-potty at the PES parking lot.
  • We suggest that all groups focus on children participation and encourage parents to be part of the audience and then meet at an agreed-upon location in PUTNAM PARK. We have received feedback that sometimes the kids are overshadowed in the parade by the number of adults.
  • Please do NOT stop at the entrance of Putnam Park – it becomes a bottleneck which will halt the parade.
  • Suggested meeting location options are: the back of Putnam Park, along the river in back of Putnam, Along the river on the GAR side of Grove Street, at the Boccelli Garden on the GAR side of Grove Street, in the parking lot just past Putnam Park, at the tent in Putnam park, at the cannon in front of GAR hall, or at the big tree on the Boccelli Garden side.
  • Email if you have questions - Terry can be reached at terryhelenreeves1953@gmail.com.

Where can I park?

Parking downtown is limited, but there are several lots which are a short walk to downtown. You may park in the side lot of the Peterborough Community Center, Valley, Automotive, or Bowling Acres on Elm Street. (Elm Street itself is no parking.) There is some parking at Peterborough Elementary School. You may park in the SKIP parking area on Vine Street. Downtown, there is a community parking lot near the fire station and limited parking at the library. The shopping center at Route 101 and 202 is available for parking. Please do not park on Grove Street where the Festival events occur. We don’t want your car to be damaged. Please be aware that if you park in such a way that traffic is impeded, the police have to ticket or tow your vehicle – which makes the Festival day much less fun!

How will I know what to do or when to go?

Committee members will be present to line folks up and space them out for the parade. They have a plan and we have never left anyone at PES yet! Please keep your group together and work with us to create a positive experience for all of the children and adults participating.

Program/Performances

We are performing. What do we need to know? 

The Children and the Arts Festival day is a fun, exciting day for our community. A few reminders:

  • You are targeting a variety of age groups in a busy schedule.
  • The Festival is organized and supported by volunteers. Every effort will be made to optimize your performance and experience, but we are all working as a volunteer team.
  • It is likely that families will flow in and out during the performance.
  • You can tour in the streets before your performance encouraging people to come and see your performance at the Festival – but please keep the focus on the Festival performance.

What do you list in the program?

We list all of our scheduled arts, paid and unpaid. If space allows and our guidelines are met, we will list local organizations offering a FREE children’s activity if it is identified and communicated to the Committee by the end of March. No charges or donations are allowed. No items can be sold in the festival venue areas.

We reserve the right to only list child-focused activities, aligned with the theme, and communicated in a timely manner – on a space available basis.

What do you not list in the program?

  • Future events for performing groups
  • Websites
  • Advertisements for performing groups/businesses/organizations

I would like to be considered for a future Festival. How do I get involved?

If you are a paid artist/performer then you can submit information via childrenandarts@gmail.com. Each year tough choices are made about what performers are selected for the Festival. If you are a local children’s performing group, who would like a venue for your talents (in lieu of payment) – please let us know! We set the program during the winter (by March). Priority is given to organizations located within the ConVal school district boundaries.

Food Court

We want to sell food. What do I need to know?

All food sales must be registered in advance with the Festival Committee.

  • Food vendors will be confirmed in locations prior to the day and effort will be made to not allow multiple groups to sell the same offerings.
  • There is a fee to reserve your space which helps to pay for the Festival.  Utility needs must be identified before the day of the Festival. If you are cooking on-site, a permit from the Fire Department will be required (must be obtained in advance). No access of utilities from Festival venues is available unless confirmed by a Committee member.
  • Drop-offs can occur before the beginning of the Festival (9:00 am) from Grove Street before the street is blocked off, then cars must be parked in a different location. If you have special parking needs or loading requirements, please communicate these early to your Committee liaison.

Hands-On/Public Displays

I want to have a table at the Festival. What do I need to know?

We have many groups, businesses, and non-profits who want to have visibility at our event. In order to keep the focus on the children and their art, we ask that everyone who wants to have a table provide a free activity for children. No donations may be accepted for any cause and no products may be sold. CATA recognizes that a performer or activity provider may want to use the exposure from CATA to build their organization, business, or cause. We support helping the larger arts/children services community.

Promotional materials may be displayed and additional information disseminated, but the bulk of the performance or activity needs to be on the day's entertainment. Free children's activities must be the primary purpose of your participation, not advertising. We reserve the right to decline tables with activities that do not align with our theme or mission.