IF YOU GO
What: Kidz Expo.
When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, April 21.
Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1150 Carter St.
Admission: $7 single tickets, $25 family four-pack, free for ages 3 and younger.
Only two months into 2012, Victoria Justice has accomplished more than some people will get done all year.
She's appeared on the cover of Seventeen, kicked off her third season starring in the Nickelodeon musical sitcom "Victorious" and lined up her first concert tour this summer. Before she hits the road, though, the 19-year-old actress/singer will be sharing her experiences with her fans as the star of the inaugural Kidz Expo on April 21.
The Kidz Expo, an event for families with children, will take place at the Chattanooga Convention Center. It will join She: An Expo for Women, Life: An Expo for Boomers and Seniors, and Formal Affair on the annual calendar of lifestyle events sponsored by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Organizing an annual event targeting young people has been three years in the making, and it's exciting to see it come together, said Chattanooga Times Free Press president and general manager Jason Taylor.
"Even more than the other expos we've done, we knew there are so many young families in this community. It would be great for them to have a chance to come out and make some fun family memories together," he said.
Tickets will be available today online. A portion of proceeds will benefit Children's Hospital at Erlanger.
The support of sponsors, including McDonald's, Children's Hospital at Erlanger, YMCA and the Tennessee Aquarium, was crucial to organizing the expo, which Taylor expects to draw thousands of attendees.
In addition to Justice's headlining appearance, the expo will offer activity zones with events for different age groups, from infants to teenagers.
Children and their parents can expect a full day of activities, including inflatables, games and appearances by licensed costumed characters such as Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George.
"We want this to be interactive for kids from the moment they enter to when they leave,"
As part of the inaugural Kidz Expo, children ages 1-3 will compete for top honors as the region's healthiest, most beautiful and most personable baby.
Contest finalists will be selected from preliminary competitions to be held at area malls. Parents interested in entering a child must register by March 16 for these events, which will be held at Hamilton Place (March 24), Walnut Square in Dalton, Ga., (March 31) and Bradley Square in Cleveland, Tenn. (April 7).