Music wafted through the air.
Laughter and giggles and glee’s of delight matched the level of the music.
Kids were running, jumping, playing and generally having a great ole time.
And the rain held off to let everyone — moms, dads, and the kiddies — enjoy all that the expo had to offer.
Saturday’s fourth annual Kids Outdoor Healthy Expo event was so popular, in fact, folks had to search a bit to find a parking spot.
“We’re holding this event,” said Darren Lewis, assistant director of the Mount Airy Parks and Recreation department, “just to try to promote healthy options … We hold it once a year.”
Last year, around 200 visitors attended the event, and Lewis was hoping for at least that number this year, he said.
Members of both the Narehood and Tilley families were some of these visitors Saturday. Along with Cody the puppy, both families were attending the Expo for the first time this year. Both moms said it is a great way to get their kids away from the computer and video games because of all the fun activities for kids available. Their first stop was going to be the fishing venue, with the climbing wall a close second, the group said.
The Arafat River had been stocked with trout the night before, Lewis said, ready for all the anglers to catch their limits. No catch and release Saturday. And, while at the fishing venue, Keith Cockerham, vice president of the Stone Mountain Trout Unlimited organization, demonstrated tying flies.
Julian Rawley, 16, didn’t say, but he may have had some help with selecting the correct fly because he caught his first fish at Saturday’s expo.
“I’ve fished before, but I never caught anything,” Rawley confessed. He planned on taking his nicely sized trout to his grandpa to have him cook it up for him Saturday evening.
Other families, like grandma Wendie and grandpa Jimmie Gwynn, brought their grandsons, Micah Gwynn, 5, to the Expo for the first time this year.
“We were out of town last year,” Wendie Gwynn said. But whenever Micah was asked about last year’s event when he and his brother, Alec, 2, attended with their mom and daddy, Micah could relay every fun and exciting detail, grandma said. So, she knew if last year’s event made such an impression on her grandson, it is one event she wanted to make sure she didn’t miss.
Riverside Park was filled with a climbing wall, Freddie the Firetruck, the trout fishing venue, a hula hoop competition, pedal cars, a free tomato give-a-way booth, the Mount Airy Fire Department hook and ladder truck, face-painting, the Chick-fil-A mascot, and more.
For example, Lt. Kelly Hiatt and Ray Arnder, community police officer, both from the Mount Airy Police Department, were conducting bike and peddle car rides. Some local students volunteered their time at this venue, as did members of t6he Mount Airy Explorers Post #522. The police department also gave away bike helmets to youngsters, 20 of which were donated by the local Kiwanis club and 100 were bought by the Friends of the Police Department specifically for this event.
“They’ve both been real good to us,” Hiatt said.
Luca Livengood, 5, donned a helmet and rode around the track the Mount Airy Police Department set up on the basketball court.
But after starting on the track, Luca was heard to exclaim: “This is going to take all day.” Of course, it didn’t and he had a great time.
Members of Mount Airy Girl Scouts Troop 40725 volunteered their time as well, offering face painting. They set up their booth in front of the “anti-bullying” wall they created in the park.
The event was sponsored by the Mount Airy Parks and Recreation department, the Mount Airy Police Department, Mount Airy Public Works, the Mount Airy Fire Department, the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center, the Reeves Community Center Foundation, the Stone Mountain chapter of Trout Unlimited, the N.C. Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Mount Airy High School HOSA Club and B-Dazzle Productions.
For more information on this and other events, call the Reeves Community Center at 786-8313.