Hundreds of wooden blocks were turned into fresh canvasses by volunteers Carson Meadows and Tania De Pape and others. They’ll be used by young artists to express their creativity at the Langley RibFest KidZone this weekend. (Bob Groeneveld/Langley Advance)

Imagination plays big in KidZone at Langley’s new RibFest

Langley Rotarians are counting down the days until this weekend and the first-ever charity RibFest.

by Bob Groeneveld/Special to the Langley Advance

Imagine a foosball game where the miniature players can think and strategize and move themselves, instead of being slaves to the giants that control them by twisting and turning the bars to which they’re attached.

Or imagine that the giants become the miniature players themselves, in a game sized up so that they get inside and hold on to the bars to control the action and the strategy as players, instead of controllers.

The inaugural Langley RibFest, hosted by four local Rotary clubs, is turning imagination into reality this coming weekend in the KidZone, one which will be part of the festivities in McLeod Athletic Park (MAP), Friday through Sunday, from Aug. 17 to 19, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.

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The upscaled human foosball game will be one of a number of activities that will cater the fun of RibFest to all ages.

“All these events are free,” said KidZone volunteer manager Linda Mross, past president of the Rotary Club of Langley Central.

“We are aiming to have families come and have some fun without having to spending a lot of money.”

Kids will have a chance to show off their putting skills in a nine-hole miniature golf course.

Or they can pick up some passive speed on an 18-foot slide.

There will be a moon walk and an adrenaline zone, and for those with inclinations to literacy, there’s even a book sale.

Hands-on activities will include a crafts station. And anywhere kids congregate, facepainting is always a hit.

There will also be hundreds upon hundreds of blank wood blocks for kids to paint themselves with whatever aesthetic or whimsical ideas capture their fancy. The decorated blocks will be used to form a wall, celebrating the youngsters’ creativity.

Fraser Valley Regional Library is bringing a day of crafts and storytelling on Saturday, Aug. 18.

Taking the KidZone concept one step further, RibFest will also include a TotZone – a place for parents with babies and small children to have a bit of a rest, with a few activities directed to the tinier clientele.

For families that want another kind of relaxation, there will be a family beer garden, which will include a bean toss and colouring contests. Young artists who want to join the colouring fun will be eligible to win prizes. Three-to-six-year-olds can win tickets to Go Bananas, while those in the seven-to-12-year age range can score some tickets at the Colossus movie theatre in Walnut Grove.

“I am sure there will be children in the KidZone who would also like to enter the colour contest,” predicted Mross, “so we will have colouring happening there, also.”

Of course, there will be lots happening for everyone who used to be kids, as well.

The first-ever Langley RibFest is being presented by Langley’s credit unions and hosted by the Rotary Clubs of Langley, Langley Sunrise, Langley Central, and Aldergrove.

The focus of the event, which organizers expect will attract tens of thousands this weekend to MAP (at 216th Street and 56th Ave.), will be barbecued ribs prepared by champion ribbers from across Canada.

Local craft beers will be featured in the adult and family beer gardens, and there will be a number of related concessions, with live music and entertainment throughout.

Lawnchairs, blankets, families, and all the friends you can muster will be welcome, said Langley RibFest organizing chair Jeff Morfitt.

Admission to this new event is free.

Organizers are still eager to sign up volunteers to help in a variety of capacities.

“A huge event like this can always use more volunteers,” Morfitt said. Anyone interested in volunteering can go to www.RibfestLangley.com and click on “volunteer.”

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Stacks of wooden blocks were lined up by RibFest volunteer and Langley Central Rotary president Paul Coltura, to prepare them for young artists at this weekend’s KidZone. (Bob Groeneveld/Langley Advance)

Rotary volunteer Nicole Clarke helped prepare a human-sized foosball game box under the watchful supervision of Langley RibFest chair and Sunrise Rotarian Jeff Morfitt. The human foosball set-up will be part of the attraction at the RibFest’s KidZone this weekend. (Bob Groeneveld/Langley Advance)

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