Want to go back and re-create childhood memories? Here's your chance to do just that with four days of fun for children of all ages. This year's Newark Days theme is "Be a Kid Again."

These energy-packed days will take place in Newark Sept. 18-21. This marks the 59th annual Newark Days celebration commemorating Newark's birthday and is put together by volunteers from Newark and beyond who work year-round to make this a memorial event for the community.

"Be a Kid Again" will offer plenty of fun with lots of music, games, shows, kids crafts, food and family excitement. Included in the four days are activities, a parade, a carnival, games, foods from around the world, marching bands, contests, demonstrations, a car and truck show and much more. On the last day, the city will celebrate its 59th birthday complete with birthday cake.

  • The fun will begin on the MacGregor Playfield on Thursday, Sept. 18 with the carnival preview where everyone can ride the night away for $1 per ride. Times are 6 to 10 p.m.

  • Friday, Sept. 19 from 6 to 10 p.m. guests will be treated to the food and game booths, the carnival for $30 a ticket for unlimited rides, and the ever-popular $600 haystack hunt for the kids. The shows on the Forever Young Stage from 6 to 8 p.m. will feature Tru Dance and the K&K Twirlers.

  • Saturday Sept., 20 events begin at the Newark Community Center front lawn with the 30th annual "Newark Mile" race with registration from 7 to 8:30 a.m. Pre-registration is $15 and $20 the day of the race. The "Newark Mile" race begins at 9 a.m.


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    The "Be a Kid Again Parade" begins at 9:45 a.m. and goes to noon. Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and Sally had such a grand time last year they're returning again this year from Great America to be the grand marshals of the parade. Tony Roberts, town and district councilmember and county councilor from Newark-on-Trent, England will be the honorary grand marshal.

    Game and food booths open up and will serve their offerings from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    After the parade, many festival-goers will turn their attention to the Car and Truck Show, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Children can enjoy a pony ride in the Arts/Crafts and Trade area, and the coloring awards, which will be held at the Be a Kid Again Stage at 12:30 p.m., when lucky winners will receive trophies and an all day pass for carnival rides.

    Performers will entertain festival-goers from 11:45 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Forever Young Stage including Taiko Drums, The FOG -- Four Old Guys band, Newark Symphonic Winds, The Legacy Band with The Decadence Dancers, The Cold Storage Band and Dub-Rae vocal duo.

    Intermission Productions is bringing their show, "Be a Kid Again - Growing Up with Bay Area TV: 1960s-1970s." The show includes cartoons, "The Three Stooges," "Creature Features" and a whole lot more. These are live performances celebrating the many memories of the era. The special surprise this year is the appearance of Tinker Bell from the 1953 "Peter Pan" movie. Margaret Kerry will be entertaining the audiences with her stories and her pixie dust. Intermission Productions will have three shows a day Saturday and Sunday in the food booth area on the Be a Kid Again Stage.

    Then there's the Cotton Candy Express Music with Lori & RJ where they invite you to be a kid again with music, song, puppets, a magician, games and a ticket give-away for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk rides -- and more. They will be in the Arts/Crafts and Trade area Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

  • Sunday, Sept. 21 continues with more fun. The headliner show for that day is at 2 p.m. with the Decades Band bringing their foot-stomping, hand-clapping infectious music from Chuck Berry to Katy Perry to the Forever Young Stage.

    "Be a Kid Again" Newark Days is free. Hours are Thursday, Sept. 18, from 6 to 10 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 19, 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 20, 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 21 from 12 to 9 p.m.

    Newark Days is located at the Newark Community Center and Park between Cedar and Newark boulevards.

    For more information, visit newarkdays.org or call (510) 793-5683.

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    Carolyne Rohrig is a former Argus reporter.