By Dave Crawley

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Cultural Trust President Kevin McMahon cuts the ribbon, and Pittsburgh’s 28th International Children’s Festival is underway.

This is the first year it takes place downtown, in the Cultural District.

KDKA’s Dave Crawley Reports:

“We’ve had it in Oakland,” says McMahon. “Before that, it was on the North Side. But part of our effort at the Cultural Trust is to bring as many people downtown as possible.”

The Cultural Trust anticipates 30,000 to 40,000 visitors, as the festival continues through Sunday in “Lily Pad Park.”

“It’s filled with over 33 hands-on activities, ranging from a Lego derby to hands-on crafts to a storytelling stage, to a free community stage,” says the Festival’s Pam Lieberman. “And then, on the weekend, Saturday and Sunday, the park is going to grow and bloom and become even larger.”

Also new this year, a sandbox, where kids can build sandcastles, and then push them over. Kind of like a day at the beach, in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh.

An inflatable sculpture filled with lights has returned, under the name “Miracoco.” Exhibit manager Shanti Freed says the ever popular luminarium has some new touches.

Festival Kickoff On Pittsburgh Today Live:

“Each sculpture has its own shape, and this one has a particularly beautiful center dome with a beautiful star light effect in the middle,” said Freed.

Visitors are transported into a fantasy world of colors and shapes. Each room is different, creating an illuminating experience.

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