Expanding with inclusion

Annual Fourth of July celebration seeks specialty vendors for addition to festival

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To enhance the environment of Arvada’s Fourth of July celebration, the Arvada Festivals Commission is launching a new program — one they’re hoping will set off sparks.

A special section, entitled “It’s All About Me,” has been added to Arvada’s Fourth of July celebration, to bring more inclusive activities, games and organizations who work with individuals who have disabilities, such as autism, epilepsy, Type 1 diabetes, among others.

“Since I’ve lived in the Arvada area, I noticed they had a lot of activities for kids, but I had never noticed they had anything special for special needs kids,” said Alvin Maes, a member of the Arvada Festivals Commission. “I just felt like something like that needed to be organized here in the Arvada area.”

Working with A Place 4 Me LLP., a sensory-based play center, along with other organizations who work with people with disabilities, the new section of the festival will incorporate a variety of inclusive and educational activities and games for attendees.

“We want to include people who normally don’t attend events because there aren’t things special for them or it’s hard for them to get into the events,” said Judith Denham, an Arvada festivals commission member.

Located alongside the east side of Stenger Soccer Complex, 11200 W. 58th Ave, near the kids entertainment area of the festival, the new addition will incorporate arts and craft activities, sensory activities and games, face painters, magicians, balloonists, bouncing castles, and educational booths.

“We’re trying to reach a population that Arvada hasn’t touched before,” said Brenda Berg, special events coordinator with the City of Arvada. “We would like to see it grow and get the community involved.”

The Arvada Festivals Commission is seeking any organizations who wish to partake in the event, specifically those who work with or help individuals with specific handicaps or special needs disabilities.

“We don’t want them to feel excluded; we want them to bring their kids and not feel excluded,” Maes said. “I’m hoping that families who do have kids in this arena are just blessed by it and are like `Wow, it’s about time, I’m glad Arvada is doing this for this population.”

If you would like to become a vendor for the “It’s all about me” area, contact Brenda Berg at 720-898-7403 or Stacy Graham at A Place 4 Me, at 720-771-1295.