By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Annual family festival a time to play
Organizer: Expect more of everything
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News

The theme of this year's Play at the Park Family Fun Festival could be summed up as "more."

Event organizer Paula Chambers said the event, now in its sixth year, promises more moon walks, more food and more games.

Chambers, the program coordinator for Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department, started the event as part of the county's effort to give back to families.

Its popularity has grown so quickly, Chambers' biggest challenge has become keeping up with attendance, which has increased from 1,200 people in 2002 to more than 10,000 last year.

"Every year we learn," she said. "Last year we were not quite prepared for 10,000 people. So we are assuring people this year that we've added more moon walks and added more food vendors.

So we should not be having the problems with the lines we had last year."

The Shopping Zone returns for the second year, boasting more than 25 vendors. There are also 12 food booths and 38 carnival activities, in addition to a petting zoo, clowns, a drum circle, candle creation station and caricatures.

Children can have their faces painted by members of the Sawnee Artists Association.

"It's sort of our way of thanking the community and doing something for the children in the community," said Evelyn Valk, association president.

"We like to do events with children and also encourage them to be interested in art."

All of the carnival activities are free to children. While it benefits parents' wallets, it also helps local merchants, as each booth is sponsored and manned by a business.

Diane Campbell has been offering carnival events since the festival began. The independent distributor for the Shaklee Corp. gets to promote Project Moms At Home Making A Difference, or MAHMA, and recruit stay-at-home moms to work from home.

"All I have to do is host an activity for young children," she said. "I'm not selling anything necessarily, but I'm just looking for women looking for business opportunities.

"I usually get 40 to 50 leads every time I go there and my business is looking for moms that want to work at home."

Campbell said she sees the dramatic growth every year and is amazed by how many young families have moved to the community since 2002.

"It's a great event for young families," she said. "There are a lot of things to do and I think there's a good selection of activities to participate in, as well as a good selection of vendors to check out."