Bill Miranda | Celebrating Inclusivity at Free to Be Me

Bill Miranda

As a city dedicated to inclusivity and community, we aim to create world-class events to bring our residents together. From the various Senses themes to the vast cultures explored during Celebrate, we strive to honor everyone in our community. The Free to Be Me Festival is no different, encapsulating inclusivity for our special needs community and their families through adaptive activities for everyone to enjoy. 

Bring family and friends to West Creek Park (24247 Village Circle Drive) on Sunday, May 5, at noon to participate in a day filled with food, fun and celebrations, thoughtfully designed for individuals of all abilities.  

This new park, featuring a state-of-the-art inclusive play area, will be the stomping grounds for the festival this year. This impressive play structure houses ramps for easy accessibility, a roller slide that reduces static electricity buildup for individuals with cochlear implants, a We-Go-Swing and a We-Go-Round that function as a no-transfer swing and merry-go-round with ample room for multiple users at once. To ensure smooth operation for everyone, inclusion aids will be available to facilitate the use of the park’s equipment. 

Alongside the park’s inclusive play area, there will also be various recreational activities such as basketball, volleyball, golf, street hockey, football and more! The Special Olympics and SNAP sports designed these games to accommodate a diverse group of players so everyone can join. After you’ve worked up a sweat from all the physical fun, head over to the arts and crafts station. Here, you can unleash your creativity, crafting something new and exciting to challenge your artistic skills. The Newhall Community Center will be hosting a dinosaur-themed craft zone that will surely be a prehistoric blast.  

Immerse yourself in the festival spirit with captivating live performances and music to delight your senses throughout your visit to the park. Enjoy performances by Dance Studio 84, Bright Star Martial Arts, Include Everyone Project and Major Impact Theater, each bringing their unique flair to the stage. But the entertainment doesn’t stop there – indulge in some artistic expression with face and hand painting available on-site at the Canyon Country Community Center booth. And if the music moves you, join in on the fun with line dancing instruction, allowing you to stomp and slide to the rhythm and unleash your inner dancer.   

If you or anyone in your group begins to feel overwhelmed, take a moment and retreat to the Chill Zone. Here, you’ll find a calming, quiet space away from the noise. When you’re ready to rejoin the festivities, immerse yourself in an interactive storytelling session hosted by our Santa Clarita Public Library. Embark on a literary journey that will ignite your imagination. For those seeking to unwind from the stresses of daily life, pick up a brush and pay a visit to our therapy goats. Brush away your frustrations alongside these delightful furry companions, offering a soothing and therapeutic experience. 

The Free to Be Me Festival is a free public event that celebrates our special needs community through sensory-friendly entertainment, arts and crafts, recreational activities, sensory play and more. It is one of my favorite events of the year, and I encourage you to join the community in this fun-filled day of inclusive play. For more information about the Free to Be Me Festival, please visit or contact the city of Santa Clarita’s Arts and Events Office at 661-250-3787 or [email protected].  

Mayor Pro Tem Bill Miranda is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]. 

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