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Costumed characters to crash festival

Children can meet their favorite costumed characters as PBS Kids makes its debut at this year’s Hawaii Book & Music Festival. Characters including Arthur, Curious George, the Cat in the Hat, Clifford and other favorites will make appearances at the keiki activities pavilion between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. next Saturday and May 15 on the Frank F. Fasi Civic Grounds at Honolulu Hale. Mr. Steve of Steve Songs performs several times each day. Families can also enjoy music and stage performances, storytelling, poetry slams, author encounters and more.

Admission is free. For more information, visit www.hawaiibookandmusicfestival.org.

Crafts galore at Ohana Fair

St. Francis School will hold its annual Ohana Fair today, and Sister Eddie is ready. The retired teacher, whose name is Mary Edwards Sugioka but who goes by Sister Eddie, is a prolific creator of handmade crafts, from bags and hand puppets to doll’s dresses and lingerie.

“She had so many crafts that she filled up the whole confessional and pews of the chapel one year, in addition to a closet at the convent,” said Pat Bigold, a spokesman for the school. Though she still works at the school library, Sister Eddie, shown at left, is now 81 and had heart surgery a few years ago, and this might be her last fair.

New at the fair this year is Rope-a-Phobia, a set of ropes strung to an elevated scaffold. Children are harnessed to a safety track and climb a rope course. The fair will also offer other child-friendly activities such as a climbing wall, face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides, video games and a talent show. Food includes ice cream sodas and malasadas. There will also be plant sales, a farmers market and a silent auction.

The fair is the biggest fundraiser for the school each year. Proceeds go toward classroom equipment.

Admission is free. The fair is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. St. Francis School is at 2707 Pamoa Road.

Toddlers + animals = fun

Learn about zoo residents at the new “Critters and Crafts” program on May 23 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Participants begin with a minitour at the Honolulu Zoo, followed by a special animal craft-making session. The monthly program is designed for toddlers and their parents.

Cost is $25 for each parent-child team; $12 for each additional child. Snacks are included. Call 971-7195 or download registration forms at www.honoluluzoo.org. Reservations are required.

Release the hounds

Pooches and their owners are invited to ruff it up at the Hawaiian Humane Society’s Canine Game Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. next Saturday at Thomas Square Park.

The free family event includes doggie games, obstacle courses, fun for the kids, food booths and the famous Hawaii Weiner Derby.

Dogs can relax in the doggie cool-down area after a hard day of play. Dogs will also be available for adoption.

Parking is available at nearby Neal Blaisdell Center for $6. For more details, call 356-2225 or email events@hawaiianhumane.org.

Show mom some art

Celebrate Mother’s Day at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, when the museum opens its doors to the public free of charge tomorrow as part of Bank of Hawaii’s Family Sunday.

Bankoh has been sponsoring the monthly family Sundays since 2004 on the third Sunday of the month. But due to scheduling conflicts, this month’s Family Sunday — with the theme is “Yo! Mama!” — will be one week early, coinciding with Mother’s Day.

In the museum’s courtyards, kids can make gifts for mom such as sun-prints or rainbow spectrum cards.

The Pavilion Cafe will serve Mother’s Day Brunch, featuring a frittata, San Francisco favorite Joe’s Special (ground beef, spinach and scrambled eggs), fruit salad, sausage and house-made muffins, for $30. Whole Foods will sell organic macaroni and cheese and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches in the courtyard as well.

All moms will receive a free book or note card set and a family pass to enjoy the museum on another day.

The museum’s Sunday hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Activities end at 3 p.m. For more information, call 532-8700 or visit www.honoluluacademy.org.

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