“Pivoting” is the new norm for the 12th Children’s Art + Literacy Festival

Abilene Cultural Affairs Council

June 3, 2024
Staff Reports

“Pivoting” is the new norm for the 12th Children’s Art + Literacy Festival presented by the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council. The June 13-16 festival continues to experience record growth, as is downtown Abilene. Combined, that is leading to some changes this year that we know festival goers will embrace. 

First, the Storybook Parade filled with costumed characters from all the festival years has a new route. The festival will be staged in the SoDA District and begin on Oak Street and go under the South 1stoverpass and continue north on Pine Street down to the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden, where the “Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn and Unicorn” sculpture will be unveiled inspired by the book series illustrated by LeUyen Pham (pronounced “Lay-Win Fam”).

Second, the costume contest has moved from the Elks Arts Center to Grace Point Church, which has graciously allowed us to use their space to hold this popular, free event. 

Third, the patron party to thank our CALF and Storybook Sculpture sponsors has moved to a new location to accommodate the new parade route. If you are interested in being a festival sponsor, please email info@abilenecac.org

Fourth, parking on Cypress Street will be limited because of construction in the third and fourth blocks. This is part of the city’s two-year Cypress Street Improvement Project designed to improve pedestrian safety and create a vibrant and inviting environment for residents and visitors. The good news is the sidewalks on those blocks are open so people will still be able to access CALF events at the venues in those areas.

Lastly, we are excited to partner with the DoubleTree by Hilton as a CALF venue and the festival’s official hotel. Three events will take place there – Cookie Decorating, Dramatic Readings and the “Grace for President” live show based on the book. 

All of this adds up to new and exciting opportunities for CALF as well as the other wonderful experiences you  have come to expect. We could not do this festival without our generous sponsors, volunteers and art and business partners. 

Please join the fun by registering for the festival. The early bird deadline to get 30% off pass prices is midnight May 15. You can still register for the festival all the way up to June 15. One pass gets you into four days of fun. On June 16, the final day, wear your pass to get into the Abilene Zoo for free and additional programming in the morning. 

Don’t have a kid to bring to CALF or has your child aged out? No problem! We would love for you and your teen to volunteer! There are opportunities to pass out buttons, assist with crafts and science experiments and other events. Go to abilenecalf.com to sign up.