Hosted at the University of Guelph’s Gryphon Field House, there will be the ever popular bouncy castles along with face painting, plenty of food, and all sorts of demonstrations.
The event provides an opportunity for families to spend some quality time together on the statutory holiday and generate funds for essential projects supported by the Ariss and Maryhill Lions Club.
“It was important to all of us that we do something in the community and of course you try to aim everything you can for the youth because they’re our future,” said past district governor, Larry Wainwright. “It’s turned out to be quite successful. This will be the second year we’ve moved it to the university. It’s a larger facility. We were getting to the point that we were probably going to soon be achieving capacity at the Martin facility.”
At the original location they had to have the food booth upstairs, which was difficult for accessibility. With the field house they can have everything on the one floor.
Every child will receive a draw ballot for either a child’s BMX bicycle donated by BackPeddling Bicycle Shop, a child’s electric car donated by E-Ride Electric Bikes, the use of a bouncy castle for a special event donated by Kiddies Fun Trak, or a three-month certificate from Peak Performance Centre.
“It’s very important that we do something like this in the community especially for the youth and totally family oriented. There’s something for everyone. We’ve got interesting displays as well as the bouncy castles and games and other activities. We have some demonstrations like Cats Anonymous, they do face painting,” Wainwright said.
He says the bouncy castles are the most requested activity for the event. They have about a dozen different ones and there are always lines of kids waiting to bounce off some energy.
“They have the jousting game where they can get up on the pedestals with these big powder puff type things where they try to knock each other off their pedestals. They can toss basketballs, have little competitions amongst themselves,” Wainwright said.
They’ve kept the price at $5 per person as in previous years because it’s important to keep the event affordable, he explains. Some of the sponsors who help keep the price of admission down are Royal Distributing, Linamar, Shaw Direct, Guelph and District Association of Realtors, Trimaster Industries, Meridian, MacKinnon Transport and Dr. Maura McKeon.
“We see a lot of single moms, single dads there with their children and a family of five can come for $20. It’s not a heavy burden. What a great opportunity for everybody just to have a great time,” Wainwright said.
The first year they held the event at 9 a.m. and there were 400 people waiting outside to get in. Last year they saw 1,500 despite bad weather. They usually have 2,000 to 2,500 people show up to the event.
“It’s a terrific community effort all the way around,” Wainwright said.
The event requires a large number of volunteers, so anyone looking to help out can contact Wainwright at 519-843-4516 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.