Perth Children’s Water Festival coming to Stratford this weekend

The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority is hosting its first in-person Perth Children’s Water Festival at the Falstaff Family Centre in Stratford from 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

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After hosting the event virtually and through school classrooms during the pandemic, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority is hosting its first in-person Perth Children’s Water Festival at the Falstaff Family Centre in Stratford this Sunday.

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Planned from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 35 Waterloo St. N., the free event will feature hands-on, family-friendly activities aimed at highlighting and celebrating the importance of water.

“This is an event that (the conservation authority) has hosted in other parts of the watershed, but we haven’t been able to do it in Perth County in person yet,” said Emily Chandler, a research and communications assistant at the conservation authority. “The volunteer committee has been meeting about this for a couple years now and, because of everything pandemic related, last year they had to host a virtual festival.”

Last year, Chandler said the organizing committee made resources and information available to school teachers across Perth County so they could lead some slightly modified versions of the same activities featured at the in-person events with their students.

“So this year we get to do all the hands-on, family-friendly activities that are really aimed at looking at the importance of and also celebrating water,” said Chandler, adding that partner organizations, including both local school boards, the City of Stratford, the Ontario Clean Water Agency, Thames River Cleanup and others, will be on hand to lead fun and educational activities and games.

Activity stations at Sunday’s event will include a fire truck from the Stratford Fire Department, a hydro-vac truck that uses high-pressure water for excavation from the City of Stratford, and the popular Stream of Dreams community art station, among others based around water conservation, protection, science and technology.

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“Stream of Dreams is a program that we run in the schools in the area to talk about the importance of what goes into our streams,” Chandler said. “So kids learn about that while decorating a (recycled-plastic) fish that they choose, and then all of the fish get put up on the fence. So at Falstaff Family Centre, it will create an art installation as they put all their fish along the fence so that, when you drive by, you can see all these fish that remind us of the importance of water and trying to keep it clean.”

Event organizers are recommending that families who would like to participate in the Stream of Dreams activity book a time at the activity station by visiting since it’s expected to be quite popular.

Face masks are required for those intending to go inside the Falstaff Family Centre to use washrooms or participate in Stream of Dreams. As parking is limited, attendees are encouraged to walk, take the bus or ride their bikes to the event on Sunday.

Families are also asked to bring reusable water bottles they will be able to refill at the city’s hydration station.

For more information on the Perth Children’s Water Festival, visit

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