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'FESTIVAL' celebrates 'best in show' win

The kids' show, "FESTIVAL" which airs on channel 16 in River Falls, won a "Best in Show Award" from the Best in the Midwest Media Fest recently. Shown with the award are: Dennis Hildreth, Chris Montgomery, Tim Montgomery, Matthew Montgomery, and Angel Montgomery. The event was held April 6. Submitted photo.1 / 2
Tim Montgomery's wife Aoh operates a camera on a production set for the show FESTIVAL along the South Fork of the Kinnickinnic River. Submitted photo2 / 2

Tim Montgomery, and his family are giving new meaning to the words "family TV show." Montgomery produces "FESTIVAL" a children's TV show, with help from his family, including wife Aoh, children Chris, Matthew, and Angel, along with Mark Kohout and Aaron Sturz.

FESTIVAL is produced on a volunteer basis for River Falls Community Television (RFC-TV, channel 16). Montgomery also works with RFC-TV's Dennis Hildreth to get the show on air.

"Tim is a very creative person with many talents," said HIldreth. "His show is entertaining and educational, but it also helps kids with the struggles of growing up."

The show has won several awards, Montgomery said. Most recently, it won a Wisconsin Community Media Best of the Midwest Media Fest award. FESTIVAL received an excellence award, and best in show for public access program as a series, and another excellence award for episode 21.

"It's a nice recognition," said Montgomery, "That I can possibly use to connect with people, and maybe do more with the show."

Montgomery said he's got a proposal together and is hoping to be able to get FESTIVAL into a place where he can reach more kids, and do more with the animation.

Similar to the River Falls School District's character education efforts, Montgomery hopes his show will help build character and encourage kids to have positive interactions with each other.

"Children learn reading, writing and arithmetic in school, yet they may not always receive social affirmation that who they are is special and important," Montgomery said while accepting the award. "As much as they need to achieve academically, children also need to feel positive about themselves and what they can accomplish - and to show this support to others. This ideal is at the core of our 'Festival' show."

Montgomery, who has worked in television, and written children's books, started the show about four years ago.

Montgomery had done other volunteer work for RFC-TV before he decided to create FESTIVAL.

In the future, he'd like to focus each episode of his show around a different theme, such as courage, friendship, kindness, honesty or respect.

Montgomery hopes Festival will make a positive difference in the way children look at each other, and treat each other.

"And hopefully, eventually, that carries through to adult life," he said.

Montgomery and his family have lived in River Falls for 13-14 years. His children attend Greenwood Elementary, Meyer Middle School and River Falls High School.

FESTIVAL is on Channel 16 at 7 a.m. and at noon.

The channel 16 schedule can be found on the city website,

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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