This is the second year that volunteer event planner Bob Moore has helped to run the free community festival, the “Back to School Bash” for the Magdalene Project, set for Saturday.

Whether it was his extra pair of hands for Magdalene Project Director Joanne Lorenzo — who runs the community assistance program at St. George’s Cathedral at 1910 Falls St. — or perhaps because practice makes perfect for the long-time children’s festival, some said last year’s event was the best yet, according to Moore. And Saturday’s event looks even more promising.

“Joanne and I work really well together and this year is going to be even better,” he said of the free community festival which is open to all being held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the cathedral grounds at 1910 Falls St. Registration will begin at 10:45 a.m. 

Local businesses are helping to provide the lunch, which will include pizza, spaghetti and meat sauce, hot dogs, chips, cold drinks and bottled water along with snacks, cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn.

A giant two-lane slippery slide, a bounce house, games and prizes, face painting and hair cuts, will be part of the festival.

Wild Kritters of Niagara will be in attendance, along with cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Goofy who will be roaming the crowd. 

There will also be therapy ponies which the kids can pet, along with the Niagara Falls Police command van and representatives of the Niagara Falls Fire Department. 

New this year will be a bingo tent for adults with prizes provided by local businesses, Moore said.  

On the main stage from 2:15 to 2:40 p.m., the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office will be demonstrating the work of their canine unit. From 2:45 to 3:30 p.m., juggler Nels Ross of Injest will perform. 

Joanne Lorenzo, founder and director of the Magdalene Project will end the day with an inspirational message, followed by the giveaway of about 500 backpacks filled with school supplies. 

For more information visit online at www.magdaleneproject.org.

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