On Saturday, May 10th, I attended Teen Fest – Vancouver 2014 at Vancouver Curling Club. I chose to take part in this event because, as Miss TEENAGE Burnaby 2014, I knew this would be the perfect event for me to get to know local TEENS.
“Teen Fest is a one day exhibition for youth ages 12 to 18 years and their families. This event gives teens and tweens across Canada the opportunity to connect with each other, their peers, their communities and community leaders.” – Teen Fest website.
There were over 100 booths exhibiting, and four different areas to explore: Life & Education, Cool Stuff, Fashion & Beauty, and Health & Wellness. There were also fundraisers going on for charities, and performances happening on the stage.
It was a thrill chatting with the successful contributors and businesses at the event. I got many friendly words of encouragement from kind and active families who went to the Curling Club to skate or to swim (it is also a community centre). I also met many adorable children who called me “a princess” and asked me where I got my crown. Their warm smiles were genuinely the best gift to receive and I felt so incredibly honoured!
There were a couple of booths that had stood out to me. One was the ever-so-colourful “Keep A Breast Canada,” a non-profit organization to raise money and awareness to breast cancer. I had the chance to purchase some of their products, and 100% of the proceeds went to help women in need.
The Beat 94.5FM was also there, and I took a fantastic picture at their photo wall with their awesome sunglasses. 6 Pack Indoor Beach gave me a coupon for a drop-in at their place, which sounded like an extremely cool place to hang out with my friends. I will pay them a visit in the near future because I have never played beach volleyball indoors! Speaking of giveaways, I picked up a water bottle filled with goodies, including a new toothbrush, from ClearView Orthodontics after entering their contest. I was also grateful for the useful tips on skin care and routine that Derma Bright Clinic provided.
Because I just got my L, seeing the Young Drivers of Canada booth was beyond helpful, and they gave me lots of info on how I should proceed with my driver’s learning. Be prepared to see me on the road everyone! I am extremely psyched to touch actual steering wheels!
Over the weekend I was researching about the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and I was not surprised when I saw them at Teen Fest. This is a program designed to encourage youth in “personal discovery, growth, self-reliance, perseverance, and responsibility” by doing community service, physical recreation, skill development, and going on adventurous journeys. They answered all my questions, and I will be handing in my application over this weekend. I definitely suggest you all to apply for this program, as you can gain new knowledge AND get an award. How great is that?
Guess who else I met? Sierra Pilcher! She was the Miss Teen Surrey – World 2013 and I was so glad to meet this pageant sister! We had a nice conversation about what to expect at nationals and she was a great host for the event!
FOOD! I got myself some free chocolate milk (YIPPEE MY FAVOURITE DRINK ever since I was a wee little baby) at the BC Dairy Association trailer where they were promoting local dairy products and I was happy to support them. Big Red’s Poutine was also a personal favourite, as well as the delicious Sunkist Ice Cream, which is a supplier for fresh fruit popsicles.
I had a blast at the festival! I would like to thank Ali Berman, co-founder of Teen Fest, for having me there and I would also like to thank all the fantastic people I have met!
Teen Fest takes place at 4 locations each year: Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria, and Fraser Valley. I strongly encourage you to attend one near you! Check out their Facebook page, website, or Twitter for any new updates!
Ariel Jingjing Cao
~ muah <3 ~