If you go

What: Downtown Boulder Tulip Fairy and Elf Parade

When: 11:45 a.m., Friday

Where: 1400 block of the Pearl Street Mall

More info: boulderdowntown.com

With the tulips blooming on the Pearl Street Mall, Downtown Boulder is preparing for its annual Tulip Fairy and Elf Parade, with children in costumes walking down the Pearl Street Mall. This year, the event will coincide with Children's Day -- sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Boulder -- which features an array of free activities and music for the 1,200 kids and parents expected to attend. The Camera caught up with Terri Takata-Smith, spokeswoman for Downtown Boulder, to find out the origins of the event and what's in store for attendees this year.

1. How did this tradition get started?

The parade was part of a bigger festival called "Boulder in Bloom," and the idea was to bring everybody up here when the tulips are at their peak. That went away, but the one element that was most endearing to the local community was the Tulip Fairy and Elf Parade, and that's the element we've kept over the years.

2. What's new this year?


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There are about 40 organizations planning activities for Children's Day, and there has been so much interest that they're actually expanding it by a block. After the parade, we'll have a booth where the Tulip Fairy will be sitting and we'll have pictures with her for the afternoon.

3. What are common costumes you see?

They're mainly little girls dressed up in fairy costumes, really bright and colorful -- very spring time -- with wings and tutus and tights. We added the elf element for any boys who wanted to come. We didn't want them to feel that they wouldn't be a part of it. Everybody's welcome, and if they don't wear a costume, that's completely fine.

4. What do kids who attend Children's Day and the Parade have to look forward to?

There will be a HOP bus, a police car, ambulance and a lot of other stuff that kids can explore on. There will be a bunch of performances, Brazilian jujitsu, an African-style performance troop, individual booths where they can win prizes and face painting.

5. What's the goal of the parade and Children's Day?

It's a day when parents or caregivers can get out with their kids and have a really good time doing activities with them. It gets them to use their creative and imaginary skills.