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Kids carnival to offer lots of activities

By Staff | Apr 10, 2015

The third annual Kids Spring Carnival will feature fun and activities without emptying the bank.

A collaboration between the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida and the William “Bill” Austen Youth Center, the event will take place on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at the center. For only $5 per child age 3 and over, attendees can enjoy carnival games, prizes, arts and crafts, and more.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida.

“We wanted to have a collaboration with our local community,” Angela Katz, the event coordinator, said. “Families often utilize our facility, and we’re always looking for great family activities.”

The cost of admission covers all of the activities; food and drinks are available for sale.

“Everything is included,” she said, noting it works for families on a budget or families with multiple children. “With a $5 ticket price it is really something that every family can partake in and enjoy.”

Organizers reported that every year at least a couple hundred children attend the carnival.

With Fifth Third Bank as this year’s sponsor, they are hoping to raise $4,000.

The event will feature lots of carnival-style games, an inflatable obstacle course, a dunk tank, an excavation site, face painting and more. Home Depot will have a building activity, and Michaels will have a creative activity. The Game Guys, Shell Factory, Ding Darling and others will be on hand.

“The fire department will have the truck there, and the kids can go inside the fire truck,” Katz said.

With things set up inside and outside, the carnival will go on place rain or shine.

“We have tons that they can do indoors,” she said.

The event is aimed at preschool-aged children through fifth grade.

In addition, there will be vendors on site, including the Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library, a Greyhound group and the Masonic Lodge, which will do child fingerprinting and ID kits.

Katz reported that there will be a total of approximately 35 participants.

At 3 p.m., Ronald McDonald will make an appearance for a meet and greet and a magic show.

“That’s kind of the highlight,” she said. “Once he arrives, that’s all the kids care about.”

Throughout the day there will be live performances from local dance groups, a demonstration by a karate organization, a production by a musical group and an anti-bullying presentation.

One of the best parts – attendees get to go home with prizes.

“The kids play these games, and they get tickets regardless if they win or lose,” Katz said.

These can be turned in for anything from pencils and boardgames, to trucks, play kits and dolls.

“They can redeem their tickets for prizes,” she said.

Tickets can be purchased at the event, or in advance online at: www.rmhcswfl.org.

“This can be a full day of entertainment for very little, and it’s a great way to give back to the community,” Katz said.

The carnival is not a drop-off event; children must be accompanied by an adult.

The William “Bill” Austen Youth Center is at 315 S.W. Second Ave.