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What to Expect at the Fraser Festival for Autism, presented by Central Roofing Company

By Pam Dewey • autism, autism spectrum disorder, ASD, autism acceptance, neurodivergent, neurodiversity movement, sensory, sensory sensitivity, inclusion, inclusive events, accommodations, community inclusion • April 21, 2022

The Fraser Festival for Autism, presented by Central Roofing Company, is a free, fun, sensory-friendly festival on Saturday, May 7, 2022, in the North Parking Lot at Mall of America. All are welcome. The festival helps raise funds and awareness to support autism programs and services for your neighbors, friends and family members. 

Here are some things you can expect when you attend the festival this year.

When should I arrive?

The festival is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, in the North Parking Lot at Mall of America. If you want to avoid a crowd, it would be wise to arrive earlier in the morning. However, if your family member has a hard time getting up and moving in the morning, you may want to come later in the day.

Can people who don’t have autism attend?

The Fraser Festival for Autism, presented by Central Roofing Company, is open to people of all abilities and ages. While it’s a fundraiser for autism services, it is also an event to raise awareness about autism, a safe space for people with sensory processing difficulties and a fun way to bring our community together.

Is there going to be live music?

Yes! Tricia & the Toonies will be performing at the festival this year. The family-friendly band offers a “unique mixture of music, puppets, skits and laughter.” They will be performing two 50-minute sets at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Will there be sensory support?

Of course! The Fraser Sensory Volunteers will be on-site to support anyone who is struggling. There will also be two sensory tents with sensory support items available. Fraser will also be selling sensory kits for families to use at the festival, in the car and at home. The kits were designed by Sensory Supports and Training Program Manager Gina Brady and include 3M quality noise-canceling headphones, chewy jewelry, sunglasses, fidgets, communication tools and other sensory support items.

You can also bring your favorite sensory tools from home to the festival.

Is there a social narrative for the festival?

Brady has created a festival social narrative to guide individuals through what they can expect when attending the festival. It includes images to help people who struggle with unfamiliar experiences prepare for the event.

Are there going to be therapy animals this year?

Yes! North Star Therapy Animals will be joining the festival again this year. There will be dogs, cats and other animals for people of all ages to enjoy.

Will there be activities for kids?

The festival will have many kid-friendly activities. One special Mother’s Day activity will allow kids to “plant” a flower in a pot to take home.

How will the event staff keep attendees safe?

All Fraser staff, volunteers and vendors must be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test. There will be several handwashing stations, bathrooms and a first-aid station.

If you have any further questions, please reach out to Rose Rosario at