Pictured Below: Jacob Herbert waits excitedly for his face to turn into Leonardo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
Kids Day Brings Out The Crowds
By Alexis Mercer
“I want to be a Ninja Turtle!” said Jacob Herbert, a recent Kindergarten graduate from Newaygo, as he waited in line to get his face painted by Lysh Curnett from Choice One Bank at Newaygo’s Kids’ Day celebration on Saturday afternoon at Brooks Park.
Face painting was just one of the many free highlights of the afternoon for the kids. Police, fire, road commission and emergency response vehicles lined the street. Kids were able to climb into the vehicles and see what each of them does. Justin Visser with the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department had the County ATV and off-road bike there for kids to see, as well as informational handouts about...
Last year’s event drew in 550 kids. Event organizers were hoping to serve as many, if not more, this year. Ross Nelson, a Chamber member, and an organizer of the event, stated that the goal of the Kids’ Day is to “allow kids to have interaction with emergency services and law officers so they won’t be afraid of them when encountered elsewhere.” In addition, he stated that they hope “to allow that interaction and also provide a free, fun day for the kids and to educate parents on the great services and opportunities there are in our communities for their families.”
Throughout the afternoon, numbers were being called out over the sound system for the chance to win prizes that event organizers had put together for the 16th Annual event. Lucky kids won prizes including 4 tickets to a Whitecaps game at 5/3 Ballpark, 5 gift certificates to Bay Leaf Books, Jerkies Jerky and inflatable water toys donated by 37 North.
The rock climbing wall was a huge hit for some of the older kids to try. Camp Newaygo brought the wall to the event and was advertising their day camps provided for students throughout the summer, which include many activities just like the rock wall.
Newaygo 4-H brought in animals for the children to pet. A docile duck and a gentle goat waited for friends to pet them. The large tortoise was chomping on grass, but wasn’t opposed to having kids touch his tough exterior. There was even a cow, who had yet to be named and was looking for suggestions so he could have a name tag!
What event is complete without food? Newaygo Public Schools Food Service director Mary Anne Charette was there providing free meals for all the kids who attended. They got hot dogs, fruit, milk, cookies and chips. Many families found shade and enjoyed the food between attractions.
Other booths set up in the park included a lemonade stand from Independent Bank, plinko for prizes by Family of God Community Church, a duck pond from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, bags of dental goodies from Newaygo Family Dental, and free car seat checks for all families who were interested.
As indicated on the event’s Facebook page, this free event is made possible by the following sponsors: Cory J Nelson Custom Homes & Contracting, Love INC - Newaygo County, Newaygo Family Dental Care, TrueNorth Community Services, Nelson's Farm Market, Gerber Life Insurance, KT Laundry LLC, My Buddy's Ultimate Car Wash and Safeway Automotive. Additional donors include: Schultz Septic & Portable Toilets, Sweet Tire, Andrea's Pizza & Italian Restaurant, Classy Cuts, La Belle de la Riviere Bed & Breakfast, Shopko, and River Stop Cafe.