Sesame Street Muppets taking a road trip

NEW YORK (AP) - Big Bird, Elmo and stars of "Sesame Street" are leaving their quiet neighborhood and embarking on a road trip.

The nonprofit Sesame Workshop said Tuesday a selection of Muppets will take part in a 10-city trip to celebrate the show's 50th anniversary campaign with free park festivals, live performances and kid-friendly activities.

Steve Youngwood, the chief operating officer of Sesame Workshop, says the tour is both "a nod to the work we've done and a nod to the work we're going to do" but also "a celebration and reward to everyone who helped us get here."

The Muppets will spend Friday-Sunday in each city, filming segments for the show with local kids and highlighting people and places important to the community. There also will be activities like a giant maze, a treasure dig, photo opportunities, sweepstakes and a cookies-and-milk snack station.

The tour starts June 1 in New York and then has Saturday celebrations in Washington, D.C., on June 8; Pittsburgh on June 15; Detroit on June 22; Chicago on June 29; Dallas on July 6; Kansas City on July 13; Denver on July 20; Seattle on July 27 and Los Angeles on Aug. 3.

"It brings together who we are - from the show to the local community organization to the fans - in a way that we had absolutely never done. It's amazing. You think 50 years and things we've never done before: This level of local engagement in a comprehensive way is something we've never done. And we're really, really excited."

The 50th season of "Sesame Street" kicks off in November with a star-studded primetime special that will include new takes on classic segments and visits from "Sesame Street" icons.