Another year, another Grickle Grass! 

Words By Sara Helm

Photography by Kerry Ssemugenyi

Year nine of this eclectic festival has come to a close, but the warm fuzzy feelings linger. I am completely in awe of the non-stop work and meticulous planning by the amazing team that makes this event go off seamlessly. 

“What IS Grickle Grass?!” the uninitiated might ask. It’s hard to explain.

During the day, Grickle Grass, transforms the already wonder-filled London Children's Museum into an adventure zone for young ones to learn and explore both indoor and outdoor activities. Lino-printing flowers? Trades for hair braids? Giant bubbles? Skateboarding demos? Make your own artisan cheesecake? Screen print your own tote bag? Enjoy a children’s story read by drag queens? Construct a mystical fairy-door? YES to all of the above. Needless to say, the energy is very “anything is possible,” which only intensifies as the day progresses. 

My most vivid memory of the London Children’s Museum is this: it’s 1997. Space Jam is the #1 box office movie (at least, in my heart). I could not be pried away from the “Street Where You Live” space without the bribe of a Happy Meal. Fast forward 21 years, and I’m just as hesitant to leave that same room while freely dancing with pals, lights dimmed, and no "grown up" supervision in sight.

There is something about this festival that harkens back to those carefree childhood emotions. The Grickle team works incredibly hard to maintain a safe and welcoming space. It’s easy to unselfconsciously let loose, let your hair down, be yourself. 

Growing Chefs Ontario provided an amazing selection of locally grown eats (charcuterie cone, excuse me!?), with beverages from Locomotive Espresso, Steam Whistle Brewing, Rebel Remedy Health Bar, and Top Shelf Distillers. Rosie's Streetery cruised by for some late night snacks. The musical acts were outstanding, with diverse sets from a range of genres. My personal favourites included a steamy performance by R Flex, face-melting rips from Partner, whimsical melodies from Mauno, and sparkly bops from Luna Li

Grickle Grass epitomizes everything I love about London: embracing a strong community, supporting local enterprise, and celebrating independent artists. Needless to say, I’m already counting down till next year.