Families have few opportunities to attend fun events for free, but they’ll get such a chance here Saturday when the focus will be on enjoying the Great Outdoors through a variety of activities.
Fishing, yard games, face painting, a bike rodeo and more will be part of Kidsfest, an annual spring celebration that has been held in Mount Airy since 2010. It is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Riverside Park.
The event, which is open to the public free of charge, was attended by an estimated 800 people last year.
Since its inception, the intent behind Kidsfest has been getting people out of the house and away from television sets and other electronic devices that rob them of exercise and other more-wholesome pursuits.
The event originally was called Kids Unplugged in keeping with that objective, and although the name was changed the purpose has remained the same.
“It’s just a fun day for families to get out to the park,” explained Family Services Supervisor Fonda Mooney of Mount Airy Parks and Recreation, the Kidsfest sponsor.
Mooney said this will be accomplished through an array of attractions geared toward youths of all ages, including:
• Fishing along the banks of the Ararat River that runs alongside the park, with rods to be available for those who do not bring their own.
• A bicycle rodeo led by the Mount Airy Police Department. “They need to bring their bike helmets to participate,” Mooney said of youths.
• Information on skateboard safety to be presented at the skate park in Riverside Park. “Someone is going to be there from a local skate shop,” said Mooney. She mentioned that safety and the need for proper equipment will be stressed, which is sometimes lacking at the Riverside Park facility.
The skateboarding segment of the event might include an appearance by a professional in the sport, but this has not been confirmed.
• Free tomato plants donated by the North Surry Future Farmers of America chapter which recipients can take home to plant.
• A climbing wall.
• A jump castle and a large inflatable slide.
• Various yard games, and more.
While admission is free, food and drink vendors will be offering those items for sale.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.