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12TH ANNUAL TOYFEST EXPECTED TO DRAW 90,000 TO EAST AURORA

East Aurora will become a hotbed of animation with the staging of the 12th annual Toyfest Friday through Sunday.

Organizers estimate that more than 90,000 people will visit the village, which is the home of Fisher-Price Toys, now a division of Mattel Inc.

The highlight of the weekend is the annual Toyfest parade along Main Street, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday from the corner of Pine and Main streets. Parade organizers said more than 100 units are expected to participate, competing for over $6,000 in prizes. The parade ends at Main and Willow streets.

The commemorative Toyfest toy this year is "Space Blazer." Five-thousand of the limited-edition toys have been manufactured and cataloged. Nine of the past 11 commemoratives toys have sold out.

Complimentary trolley rides, provided by Trolley Tours of Buffalo, will take festival-goers from attraction to attraction from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Toyfest headquarters is at the corner of Main Street and Temple Place. the Toyfest Information Center and store will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Events get under way at 5 p.m. Friday at Hamlin Park with the opening of the "Toyminator," a massive maze. The Toyminator remains open Saturday and Sunday.

Other events follow:

Friday

"Great Maze Toyminator Race," at 7:30 p.m.; Rolling Stone mobile climbing wall, Outer Limits alien costume contest, rides, concessions, karaoke, an all-ages dance party and musical entertainment.

Saturday

Fisher-Price warehouse sale, company headquarters, Girard Avenue, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Toytown U.S.A. Museum and Fisher-Price Toy Store, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (same hours Sunday); St. Joe's Marching Band, performing at the conclusion of the parade; NASA strength and conditioning coach Beth Ann Shepherd conducting workshops at the museum at 1 and 2:30 p.m.; Craft show and Toy Town Theater fun videos, Town Hall on South Grove Street.

Also, "pump train" exhibit, East Aurora Middle School (also Sunday); Buffalo Zoo's Zoomobile, Middle School, noon until 3:30 p.m. (also Sunday); Hamlin Park, noon to 5 p.m. (same hours Sunday), KIDSPACE and a clown camp; Hamlin Park entertainment tent, performances by the Clog Hoppers and talks by NASA astronaut Lt. Col. William G. Gregory and NASA's Dr. Flush, also known ad Donald W. Rethke, on human-waste management in microgravity, and a "Star Wars" celebrity-impersonation contest; karaoke music, Middle School; The "Jump Kings," all-ages dance party, Hamlin Park, 6 to 9 p.m.

Sunday

10-K race, Hamlin Park, 9:30 p.m.; Church-in-the-Park, 10:30 a.m.; antique toy show and sale and an antique car show, craft show, pedal-car show and a Harley-Davidson show, all at the Middle School.

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