BY DAVID WELTON
Whidbey Life Magazine Contributor
Sept. 30, 2015
The merry sound of children laughing filled the air Saturday, Sept. 26 at the annual Children’s Day Festival at South Whidbey Community Park. Program co-ordinator Carrie Monforte sent a bright technicolor message of thanks to the 46 businesses and organizations with booths, and numerous volunteers with fun activities for area children and families that made for a memorable first weekend of Fall. “I can’t recall a more well attended Children’s Festival” said Monforte at the end of the day. “I enjoy watching this event unfold because I see so many happy people.” She added, “attendance estimates are imprecise, but the South Whidbey Kiwanis Club handed out 850 hot dogs free of charge.”
A fire truck with souvenir fire hats was stationed at Castle Park, open for tours. There were ponies for petting and riding, and children could become acquainted with appropriately sized musical instruments. The local chapter of the Red Cross stressed safety tips for the winter living and fun was had by all.
The bounce houses were among the three most popular attractions, along with bubbles and face painting. A happy child’s voice from inside exulted “this is the most fun day of my whole life!”
Tom Lindsay, the “Bubble Man” went through 25 gallons of “bubble juice” as he taught eager 5 year olds how to create giant bubble sculptures, who quickly got the hang of it and gave him a run for his money. His pleas to let the bubbles live were ignored by children eager to pop them.
Kids queued up for a turn with the team of face-painters at the Mother Mentors booth.
Larry Dobson coached young stilt walkers on the proper technique to safely lace in, then danced with protege Grace in front of the baseball field.
This young lady jumps to the sounds of the DJ and Karaoke, as her free hot dog from South Whidbey Kiwanis awaits her.
Multitasking face painted stilt-walkers speak with helium fueled squeaky voices and avoid face-plants on the lush grass, which was revived by recent rainfall.
A relatively quiet moment with play-doh sculptures at the South Whidbey Children’s Center booth.
The creative chefs from Kids First of Island County orchestrated hourly competitive pie-eating contests. A stuffed participant signals that he is finished by raising his empty hands. An empty mouth proves that he is not hiding un-eaten pie.
David Welton is a retired physician and staff photographer for Whidbey Life Magazine. You’ll see him with his camera and ball cap at many festivals and events capturing the faces of people enjoying Whidbey Island.
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