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Chicago Tue Jul 30 2013

"Chiditarod" For Kids At Garfield Park

Kiditarod.jpg There's nothing that says fun quite like an Iditarod race in Chicago, aptly named Chiditarod, that requires adults to mush about the city at different checkpoints, all for charity. The race, pageant, talent show and fundraiser helped raise over $34,000 in cash donations while collecting nearly 17,000 pounds of food for the Greater Chicago Food Depository this past March 2, after covering 4.8 miles in the greatest spectacle in shopping cart racing.

But why should the adults have all the fun, running around and acting like kids? It's time for the kids to get involved and show the grown-ups how it's done. On Saturday, August 10, the folks at "Chiditarod" will put on "Kiditarod," a kid-oriented version of the race, at a new interactive festival called Figment, that runs Aug. 10-11 at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave.

"This is a new kind of kid-friendly festival," said Devin Breen, founder of the parent race. "Instead of adults having all the fun by acting like children, we thought: 'Why not let children act like adults acting like children?' The fact that it's also a food drive helps everyone understand that serving your community can be fun."

Check-in starts at 1pm on Saturday and the race begins at 3pm. Kids and parents will bring non-perishable food items to the welcoming gates of the festival, as opposed to the finish line of the Chiditarod race. The different checkpoints of the Kiditarod include a rainbow parachute for teams to play with; a Pinwheel Garden; a Kidsville Dragon Parade; and a Water Balloon Toss, to name a few. All 11 checkpoints through Figment are sure to bring a smile across everyone's face as they make their way through the different art exhibits.

"This is art for play, not just exhibition," said Elysia Lock, producer of the event. "Figment is about imagination, and this two day event will happily engage yours."

Admission to the event is free; however, all teams must register online in order to participate. It won't be long before school returns and ground turns to frozen tundra. Getting a little exercise out in the fresh air is a sure way to create more summer memories, all while donating to a great cause.

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