On a mild-weather day on Saturday, a variety of kid-friendly games, exhibits, shows and summer-time food drew people to the third annual Family Fun Fest, sponsored by Omni Youth Programs at .
“We had fun here last year and decided to return in 2011,” said Brandon Ford of Carmichael, who attended this year’s fest with his friend Amanda, her son Jase, 6 and neighbor Cody, 9.
The foursome and other families checked out face-painting, bounce houses, prize wheels and raffles.
From 11 a.m. to noon, youngsters with the SuperNova Performing troupe, part of the New Star Children’s Theatre, sang and danced on stage.
Dana Hendry is the director of the youth theater group. It is partnering with Omni to expand its musical program county-wide in schools. An upcoming monthly spot for New Star on Access Sacramento TV is also on tap, Hendry said.
After the theater group finished, students at then took the main stage to display their martial arts skills.
Folks at the booth had materials for kids to make bookmarks, a touch-and-feel display of animals’ fur (bear, muskrat, possum and rabbit) and a matching animals’ picture game.
All proceeds of the Family Fun Fest fund Omni Youth Programs to reduce drug use and violence among children and adults, said Cynthia
Siegel, the executive director of Omni. The independent non-profit contracts with Sacramento County and serves a total of 850 youth and 450 parents, Siegel said.
Chuck Baccarella is the general sales manager at Maita Subaru, the lead sponsor of this year’s festival.
“Mr. Maita believes in taking care of customers and the community,” Baccarella said.
Maita Subaru’s booth drew Demi, 5, and Trish Kranich, his aunt, for a ball-rope toss activity. Demi said she liked the stuffed animals at the fest best. Kranich praised the free health screening booths there.
Sheri Egeland is Omni’s director of prevention programs. An
estimated 700 people were expected to attend this year’s family fest, up from 500 in 2010, Egeland said.
“Our goal is to provide a free and fun day in the park, alcohol- and smoke-free, for parents and kids,” she said.
Family games for the young and young-at-heart ranged from an egg-on-a-spoon race to a tug of war and Frisbee toss.
Meanwhile, the California Highway Patrol, City of Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District vehicles were on-hand for festival goers to observe. Officers and fire fighters answered questions and provided information to adults and youth.
To contact Omni Youth Programs about its services or to make a donation, go to http://www.omniyouth.net/
or call (916) 362-2000.