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      Kidsfest helps ease back-to-school expenses

      B ackpacks, paper, pencils, pens ... the list goes on and on.

      B uying school supplies alone can put parents in a bind right before sending their kids back to school . S o, like years past, Kidsfest is here to help!

      "We just knew we needed to do something to have kids ready for school that might not have the means to get ready, completely ready", said AISD Kidsfest Committee Member, Denise Blanchard.

      "It gives parents and their children an opportunity to get free school supplies right before school is starting. Also, it has different non profit organizations that have booths and there's games and snacks", said Kidsfest Publicity Co-Chair, Becky Zenor.

      Immunizations will also be available Saturday at Kidsfest for a small fee.

      "They must bring their shot records and this year there is a cost, it's $5 for one shot and $10 for two shots, but no child will be turned away", explained Zenor.

      So -- same fun, same services -- but there will be a new location for this back to school one-stop-shop event this year -- the Amarillo Civic Center, where air conditioners, no doubt, will be a welcome addition.

      L ike always , this free fun is one of the best ways to make sure you kids are set and ready to go school on day one.

      "Especially with the economy, it's going to be indoors so it's air-conditioned. Come and have a fun time with your children and find out what you might be able to do to help your child be successful in school, that's important", said Blanchard.

      At the end of the day, organiz e rs say the kids won't be the only ones walking away with something valuable.

      "It is very rewarding. It's worth every minute that we spend planning it to see the smiling faces and to know that they're going to be just a little more prepared", added Blanchard.

      Kidsfest will begin at 8 o'clock Saturday morning and will run until about noon.