If you're going
• When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
• Where: Central Park, 2300 Keith Bridge Road
People can enjoy Central Park any old weekend, but playing there this Saturday likely will be more fun-filled than usual.
The county's parks and recreation department is holding its free family festival, Play at the Park, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The eighth annual event, which will fill most of the park's parking area, features games, vendors, activities, music and food, said Laura Pate, the department's program supervisor.
"We feel like it's important to provide a community festival for people at low or no cost and a fun place for families to come, just to bring the community together," Pate said.
Some of the activities include inflatables, a petting zoo, shopping market, business expo and large trucks for kids to touch.
No matter the attraction, though, the parks department made sure to pack in the fun with every group or vendor attending.
"Any business or any nonprofit that comes, they're supposed to provide either an activity or a giveaway or something fun for the kids to do," Pate said. "That's what makes it carnival like."
New this year: a gaming tent for older children, climbing wall and live kids' music.
Five local musical groups will perform throughout the day, coordinated by sponsor Music Matters.
Regional manager Zach Whiteis said the bands are ready.
"This turned into one of the biggest productions we've ever done for something like this," he said. "We're really excited about it."
The north metro Atlanta music studio, which focuses on lessons, will showcase two of its own children's rock bands, along with coordinating the North Georgia Youth Chorale, local family band the Strawmakers and kids' group All We Know.
Whiteis expects the day to be a good match for the county and the business.
"We like to get out there and have all the kids sing around the stage," he said. "The more kids and the more families for us, the better. We enjoy it."
While last year's festival was canceled due to rain, Pate said the county has high hopes that the attendance will continue to grow from previous events.
"Over the years, it used to be hundreds of people and now it's thousands of people," she said. "We're expecting 5,000 to 6,000 if not more."
And the weather should cooperate. Saturday's forecast calls for mostly clear skies and a high temperature near 90. There's only a 20 percent chance of rain.