Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
FAIRFIELD – The Fairfield Kiwanis Club hosted its annual Kids’ Day celebration Saturday, and drew a huge crowd to Central Park for pancakes, games, music and more.
Though the sky was overcast for most of the morning with a sprinkle here and there, Kiwanis was able to get the parade in, with floats heading out from the Fairfield High School parking lot toward the downtown. However, a big rain shower swept through the area around noon, which forced the kids’ games to shut down a bit early.
Scott Willman, president of Fairfield Kiwanis, said the turnout was fantastic despite the weather.
“The pancake tent did very well this year, and that’s a big way we fund our annual scholarships,” he said. “The better we do there, the more we can provide to our students in high school.”
Willman said the activities included pony rides, bounce houses, face-painting and a DJ playing music.
“This event is Kiwanis’ signature event, and it placed in the Top 10 of the global Kiwanis organization,” he said. “We’re super proud of it.”
Willman said the winning parade float was the Flaming Marshmallows, the local Special Olympics team.
Pete Tollenaere, who has been a Kiwanis member for 35 years, said the club was pleased with the turnout, and glad they were able to get the parade in before the rain.
“One real positive thing is that we had tremendous support from the student organizations at the high school, who helped us clean tables, serve coffee and bring extra pancakes to people,” he said.
On Friday, a group of FHS students in study hall came downtown to help the club set up for the big day.
“The kids did a wonderful job,” Tollenaere said.
Tollenaere said the club sold just under 1,600 tickets to its pancake breakfast, which is about average for the group.
“Without the rain that last 45 minutes, we probably would have had a few more,” Tollenaere said. “Those last people to come through the line deserve credit, because when they came in, they were pretty wet, but they hung with us. We thank everyone who supported us.”
John Reeves, who organizes the Fairfield Kiwanis Kids’ Day parade, said he was very happy the club got the parade in without anyone getting wet.
“It’s very important for the marching bands, because they can’t get their instruments wet,” he said.
Reeves said that even when the rain did come, many people refused to give up their spot in the line for kids’ activities.
“As a salute to intrepid Fairfielders, there was still a long line for the pony rides, no matter how hard it was raining,” Reeves said.
This year was the club’s 55th Kids’ Day.
“We were very happy with the amount of work people put into their parade floats and other entries,” Reeves said.
Call Andy Hallman at 641-575-0135 or email him at email@example.com