PORTLAND KidsPeace Foster Care will hold its first Blue Ribbon Festival in Congress Square Park in Portland on Thursday, May 12 from 5-7 p.m. The family-friendly event will feature music and comedy along with food and children’s activities, and is free and open to the public.

May is National Foster Care Month, and KidsPeace’s Blue Ribbon Festival marks the occasion by celebrating its dedicated foster parents. The event also will highlight the need for more foster homes throughout Maine; organizers note that last year the state had some 2,200 kids in the foster care system, but only 1,700 licensed foster homes to care for them.

The Blue Ribbon Festival will feature:

·         Music from Portland’s own The Bambinos (Ada Bonnevie, Anthony Branca, Dominic Grosso, and Max Heinz)

·         A performance from comedian (and former foster child) Micaela Tepler

·         Art exercises for children from KidsPeace art therapy clinician Kat Shoro

·         Food will be available for purchase during the event.

The festival takes its name from the tradition of displaying blue ribbons in support of children in foster care. The outdoor event will be postponed in the case of inclement weather.

For 140 years, KidsPeace has been building on its expertise to give hope, help and healing to children, adults and those who love them. Through its comprehensive range of residential treatment programs; accredited educational services; unique psychiatric hospital and foster care and community-based programs, KidsPeace is dedicated to helping people connect, transform and overcome their challenges to ensure a stable future, transition to adulthood and gain independence. Since its doors opened, nearly 300,000 children have participated in one of the multitude of programs KidsPeace offers.

For additional resources or more information on how to get involved, become a foster parent or make a donation, please visit www.kidspeace.org. Follow us at www.facebook.com/kidspeace.org or on Twitter @KidsPeace.