Over 4,500 kids and families filled the Cedar Springs Public School campus Thursday, June 24, for a free afternoon of food, fun, games and prizes. It was the kick off event for Maranda’s line up of summer park parties, and went off without a hitch.
“It was a beautiful day and a beautiful event,” said Maranda. “Thousands of families joined us for a day of free fun. It’s such an honor to work with an amazing team of volunteers, interns, co-workers and corporate partners.” WOOD TV8 and WOTV4 sponsored the event, and worked with Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation to make it happen.
The fun started at 11 a.m. with a free lunch for kids, and the other activities kicked off at noon. The stage rocked all afternoon with great entertainment from local kid performers including martial arts sensation Mariah Moore, Next II None and Dance Central. The Cedar Springs Park Party also showcased a fun new attraction—the ropes course! Other activities included the climbing wall, Super Slide, Dixie Twister, and bounce house. Tables and booths were set up all over the campus with free activities, prizes and information. The Cedar Springs and Solon Fire Departments were on hand to keep the kiddies cool with their fire hoses, and Rockford Ambulance, the Kent County Sheriff Department mounted unit, the Cedar Springs Police Department, and the City of Cedar Springs were all on hand to let kids explore their vehicles.
“It was a great day, great weather and a lot of fun to see so many families out and enjoying the activities, entertainment and free items,” said Parks and Rec director Amanda Gerhardt.
She noted that they learned from the last party and made a couple of changes. “We tried to improve upon a few things from 2008, such as more shuttle busses and a clearer line and system for the free lunches,” she explained. She said that they served just under 2,000 lunches. People parked at some of the surrounding schools and were shuttled on school buses to the grassy area between Cedar View and Cedar Trails by school bus drivers.
Some people complained about the long lines for the high profile rides. But Gerhardt said that’s to be expected. “We saw lines at all the events, which is to be expected at an event like this or even at places like Michigan Adventure or Cedar Point, but we saw them moving quickly and kids being able to participate,” she said.
Gerhardt was grateful and thankful to all the volunteers who helped and participated in the event, including The Cedar Springs Department of Public Works, who helped set up and clean up the aftermath.
“It is amazing that within one hour of the event the area looks almost back to normal,” she said.
Gerhart was honored that Cedar Springs was chosen twice to be host for a park party. “We appreciate WOOD TV8 and WOTV4 for choosing Cedar Springs and hope they will do so again in the future,” she said.