mccay1Bedford 4H Petting Zoo at 44th Annual Yellow Balloon Fair for Community Nursery School

Special to The Bedford Citizen

Chip-in at YBF-2
Courtesy image (c) Mark Bailey, 2016 all rights reserved

Always a spring highlight for local families, the annual Yellow Balloon Fair at Lexington’s Community Nursery School (CNS) returns on Saturday, May 7th, 10am-2pm. Now in its 44th year, this year’s Fair features a new addition that is sure to delight young and old alike: animals from Bedford’s Chip-In Farm, including a newborn lamb! Families will be able to visit with the animals and learn about them from Farmer Sandy and children from the Bedford 4H Club.

“Bedford’s 4H kids are a big part of the program at Chip-in Farm, and they can’t wait to be part of the Yellow Balloon Fair,” said Farmer Sandy of Chip-in Farm. “The Chip-in team is bringing a menagerie of animals for the kids to enjoy, including Dakota, a two-month old Holstein/Angus cross heifer who loves drinking from bottles held by kids, and Jill and Jack, Shropshire sheep born at the farm on March 25th.”

The Yellow Balloon Fair is held rain or shine at CNS, located at 2325 Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington. Admission is $2 per child (adults free); game, raffle, and food tickets are priced separately and can be purchased onsite or online at

Favorite activities returning to the Fair this year include DPW trucks for the children to explore, a bouncy house, a life-size Candyland game, and face painting, along with a variety of crafts and preschool-oriented games with handmade prizes. Refreshments will include BBQ, empanadas, and pizza for lunch. A wide range of raffle and silent auction items will also be available, including themed baskets created by the preschool classrooms as well as gift certificates and items donated by local businesses and community members.

Fostering community is a core value of CNS, and the Fair symbolizes this spirit. “The Yellow Balloon Fair is our annual celebration of spring, family, childhood fun, and community,” says CNS Director Liz O’Neil. “It’s a truly collaborative effort that brings all our families together.” And that spirit of kinship extends out into the greater community as well. “The Yellow Balloon Fair thrives on the Lexington community’s generosity and spirit,” adds Fair Co-Chair Sarah Morrison. “The whole community pitches in to make it successful each year — businesses provide sponsorships and donations, the town lends public works trucks, high school students volunteer, parents organize and run the Fair, and hundreds of community members come out, rain or shine. It’s a joy to be a part if it.”

Volunteering at this event counts toward the Lexington High School community service hours that all students need to graduate. If you are interested in helping out with the Fair — as a volunteer, by donating a raffle or auction item, or by sponsoring an activity — please email

About Community Nursery School and Liz O’Neil
Community Nursery School is a cooperative preschool that nurtures children in a play-based environment. CNS was founded in 1943 by a small group of families with the goal of providing a quality preschool experience for children in the years between infancy and public school.

CNS is committed to engaging children to be creative, independent, resilient, and ready for elementary school, and to fostering a community that enriches the whole family. The school offers programs for preschool-age children, including Summer CNS, the Let’s Do Lunch class with Kids Cooking Green, and the Splatter Lab art class, as well as yoga for toddlers and the Green Door Project for students in grades K-2.

Liz O’Neil joined the faculty at CNS in 2004 and currently serves as the Director. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Swarthmore College and a Masters in Education from Harvard University. Three out of four of her children attended CNS.

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