Festival emphasizes fun, safety for kids

Area children have a day dedicated just to them. Saturday marks the seventh annual Celebrate Children Festival, and organizers say there's a lot to see and do at this year's event.

"Kids usually leave with a bag full of prizes and toys and arts and crafts they've participated in," coordinator Sarah Hepworth said. "This is just a way to give back to the youngest members of the community."

The Moffat County Early Childhood Coalition sponsors the event, which is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Mall. All children ages 2 to 8 and their parents are invited.

"Every experience they have is free," she said. "We don't want money to determine if they participate or not."

More than 20 booths will fill the carnival atmosphere and feature local nonprofit agencies and child-related groups.

One main attraction at the fair is the giveaway of car seats to families in need. Cpl. Bryan Gonzales of the Craig Police Department will be checking car seats in a coned-off area outside Rehabilitation Services of Craig.

He will be looking to make sure the items are installed correctly and have no recalls on them, and determine whether participating families need a new car seat.

"If people really need a car seat and can't afford them, we're going to provide them with one," said Michelle Henderson, the ECC board member who led the car and booster seat donation campaign.

Residents receiving aid from another nonprofit agency can get a letter from the agency, giving those families top priority in getting a car seat.

Henderson said the coalition raised more than $3,500 in the community for the project.

"We were tickled pink," she said. "That was really exciting for us."

Kmart is selling the group car seats at 25 percent off, and organizers will have a variety on hand Saturday.

Henderson hopes she can help curb the safety problem.

"Every day, you're walking down the street or driving down the street, and you see kids that are unprotected," she said. "It's so important to learn the safety precautions to make sure your kids are buckled in safe every time they get in the car."

In another safety-related activity, the Moffat County Sheriff's Office will be present making identification kits for children. They include height, weight, fingerprints and a photo and are for the child to carry in case of an emergency.

Crimestoppers will have a cookie-decorating booth, and children will get to meet Mc-Gruff the Crime Dog, who will hand out Safe 2 Tell pencils and magnets. In addition, representatives from PReVENT, DARE and the Craig Police Department will be on hand to share information. A drawing for a family pool pass also will occur with many activities for the youths free of charge.

For more information about the festival or car seat program, call Henderson at 824-3246, Hepworth at 824-75457 or Val Pleasant at 824-9359.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or mperry@craigdaily-press.com.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.