BEIRUT: While the majority of kids are having their childhood wasted behind iPad screens, Dreamland Festivals comes to the rescue and reminds them of the bigger world that they can explore outside.
Founders of the festival Dany Helou, George Najjar, and Jean-Pierre Atallah made sure that the event is joyous for both children and adults, as they offered both a 10-day dreamlike haven filled with activities at Byblos Wagon Park in Jbeil last week.
Ever since the event started, festival attendees have been enjoying the peak of summer season festivities at an affordable event that embraces and promotes family quality time near the touristic beach resorts and restaurants of Byblos.
“We have a lack of focus on outdoor events for children and family entertainment,” Christine Aouri, one of the parents attending the festival with her kids told Annahar. “The psychological wellbeing of the younger generation should be prioritized through events like Dreamland Festivals that make them feel important. Public parks and restaurant playgrounds get boring after a while,” she continued.
Among the various themes of the festival, many of the meticulously crafted details revolve around a fairytale feel, such as the giant inflatable castles, colorful cookie houses, princesses roaming around, and the carriages that appear like a replica of the ones in the children’s fantasy tales.
On an enormous castle-like stage, DJs and renowned Lebanese artists like Joseph Attieh, Raphael Jabbour, and George Nehmeh, performed for the audience, adding a musical touch to the fantasy.
“Dreamland Festivals is designed to entertain families,” Atallah told Annahar. “It’s not a place where kids have the time of their lives while their parents get bored to death waiting for them to finish. On the contrary, it’s where they all come to create family memories together,” he added.
With the availability of both futuristic games on-site such as Virtual Reality, 9d Cinema and retro ones such as Sega, Pacman, Flipper, and Super Mario, all generations attending the festival have a wide variety of entertainment options to choose from.
As Atallah explained, all elements of the festival are exclusively created for the event, even the tents, the roaming mascot characters, and their outfits. “We want to offer our attendees a genuine, unique experience, and not one that has concepts stolen from other events,” he said.
Marilyn Hawat, a Dreamland Festival attendee told Annahar: “The younger generation is becoming increasingly and dangerously attached to their iPads and smartphones. I can’t stress the importance of events like this one.”
Living the innocence of childhood, 10-year-old Cybelle Abou Merhi dressed up as Cinderella and told Annahar that Dreamland Festival made her wish of becoming a princess come true.
Dreamland Festival, the 10-day long event, is open until July 28 at Byblos Wagon Park. It will take place again in Tyre from August 8 until 18, from 5:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.
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