Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 19, 2018

Kiwanis Kids’ Day Saturday

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Sep 11, 2017
Source: Ledger archives The Kiwanis Kids’ Day parade, complete with all manner of floats, begins at 10 a.m. Saturday from the FHS parking lot. The pancake breakfast is from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Just has it has for more than five decades, from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, the Fairfield Kiwanis Club is hosting its 51st annual Kids’ Day celebration.

“The very first Kids’ Day was in 1966 at the Flamingo Lanes Bowling Alley,” said Fairfield Kiwanis Club member and parade organizer Daryn Hamilton. “After that first year, then we started with the pancake breakfast. The man who actually came up with the idea for Kiwanis Club to do a Kids’ Day was T.L. Henderson.”

Hamilton said the event evolved into the breakfast after club members decided that it would be good to have “a larger event to impact more kids.”

For the last 49 years, the event has included a traditional pancake breakfast and parade.

“‘Timeless Tradition’ is this year’s theme,” said Kiwanis Club member John Reeves, explaining that the theme is fitting considering that generations of people have come together over the years to enjoy Kids’ Day.

“People plan their vacations, family reunions and school reunions around Kiwanis Kids’ Day,” Reeves said.

According to a Kiwanis Club news release, Kiwanis International’s mission is to serve the children of the world. The philanthropic organization provides scholarships to high school students, financial assistance to local organizations that serve children, and it provides playground and other equipment to local parks and facilities.

Fairfield’s main Kiwanis event is its traditional pancakes and parade where Kiwanis Club members will serve pancakes, sausage and drinks, as well as offer a variety of activities on the square, such as entertainment by DJ Midnight Crystal, a pedal pull, Kuddles the Clown and a Backyard Circus.

“The sad news is, that we’ve lost Curt Hanson, who was instrumental in making Kiwanis Kids’ Day a success,” Reeves said. “But the good news is, we have several new younger community members who want to see the tradition continue.”

Just as it has in the past, the parade will set up at 9:30 a.m. at the Fairfield High School parking lot. It steps off at 10 a.m., and includes floats, bands, vintage cars, Shrine Club entries, tractors and horses.

“For the last 18 years, I have organized the parade at the high school parking lot,” Hamilton said. “I’ve enjoyed it immensely. When I first started, I handed out blue ribbons to all of the kids, and even just doing that puts a huge smile on your face, it makes it all worth while.”

A costume competition for children will continue this year with new categories including Game Characters and Comic Superheroes, which have been added to the Creepy Creatures, Bicycles, Pets and Famous People categories.

Hamilton said floats should line up at around 9:30 a.m. Costumed characters should line up as follows: Comic Superheroes and Creepy Costumes — south side B Street; Bicycles and Pets — south side C Street; Famous People and Game Characters — north side C Street; Shrine clubs, floats, horses, bands and vintage cars — FHS.

The parade will not allow political and election themed floats, minibikes, go carts or mopeds to participate.

“The parade will leave the parking lot going across on Broadway Avenue to Main Street, then north on Main Street up to Grimes Avenue, and go across the southside of Howard Park, south on Court Street to Briggs Avenue, and on Briggs Avenue back to the high school,” Hamilton said.

As in years past, no candy or other items are to be thrown by floats or other parade participants. Tickets for Kiwanis Kids’ Day are available to purchase from any Kiwanis Club member in advance at $6 and $3 for children 12 and under. Tickets will also be available during the event at the tent for $7 for adults and $3.50 for youth. A ticket book of 10 tickets is $50.

For more information, contact Reeves at 233-0128.

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