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Kiwanis KidsFest takes off Saturday at Sun Splash Festival Grounds

By Staff | Oct 25, 2018

The 21st annual Kiwanis KidsFest is set for Saturday at the Sun Splash Festival Grounds.

The Kiwanis Club of Cape Coral and Cape Coral Parks & Recreation will host the popular pre-Halloween kickoff from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The fest began after Donna Williamson and her granddaughter attended an event in Fort Myers for children, said Kiwanian Susan Pruzan of the celebration that now draws hundreds of children each year. Williamson’s granddaughter asked why there was not an event like that in Cape Coral and it ignited the thought of KidsFest.

“She was with Kiwanis at that time. She created the event. She is still involved,” Pruzan said.

“Cape Coral Parks & Recreation are just amazing, the support they give us every year,” Pruzan added.

The event features free admission. There is a requested $2 donation for parking.

Organizers are also collecting nonperishable food items for the Cape Coral Caring Center.

“They usually receive a lot during KidsFest,” she said.

This is the third year KidsFest has been held at the Sun Splash Festival Grounds. It was held at Jaycee Park for 18 years before the event outgrew the waterfront venue.

New this year is an art contest. All of the art teachers locally received information about the contest, which will feature one overall winner for elementary, middle and high school students. Pruzan said it’s amazing what happens when people get together.

“Their ideas flow,” she said of the newly created art contest.

As usual, the festival will feature onstage entertainment, as well as strolling entertainers throughout the day. There also will be two Halloween costume and pie eating contests, complete with prizes. Other activities will include finger painting, games, inflatable rides, fire truck and police vehicles, pumpkin painting, crafts, raffles and health and safety information.

There will be family-oriented vendors, as well as food trucks. Children 12 and younger will receive a free hot dog and chips. There will also be free water available for all attendees.

“All the vendors will have something for the kids . . . games, giveaways and prizes,” Pruzan said.

Children are what makes the event successful.

“The smiles and laughing,” she said. “It’s a nice group of people that come every year because they are excited about the event. It takes on its own feel. The community comes together and everybody looks forward to it. That generates everyone to have fun”

The title sponsor of the event is the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation and the Culliton family. This is the sixth year the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation has been the title sponsor.

“She is donating all the food. She really does an amazing job supporting KidsFest,” Pruzan said

Other sponsors include Island Coast Pediatrics, Sky Zone, Applebee’s and Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Sun Splash Family Waterpark is at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd.

For more information, including sponsorship and vendor info, call Pruzan at (847) 651-8854 or email KidsFestcc@gmail.com.