Families ‘take flight’ at Salem campus

Issac Profitt

People from all over the region gathered for the fifth-annual Kids Fun Fest, themed “Take Flight,” at Kent State Salem on Sunday. Parents got a chance to let their little ones loose to enjoy free food, arts and crafts and giveaways.

Ruth McCallagh is the public relations coordinator of Fun Fest for the second year. “The turnout of kids has surpassed last year,” McCallagh said. “The most popular part of the day is the face painting.”

More than 250 children attended Fun Fest, each of who received a small pumpkin to decorate said McCallagh. In addition, children could experience sitting in a helicopter and playing inside a hot air balloon, a first for some of the kids. There was also a raffle of door prizes including school supplies, making parents just as happy as their kids. Other activities included a book fair, games and a clown book reading.

Junior human services major Bonita Paulina attends the event regularly.

“I brought the whole gang with me,” Bonita said sitting with her mother, daughter-in-law and five grandchildren. “They’re having a great time. It’s really good that Kent State is giving back to the local community.”

Kent State Salem students in the early childhood education program started Kids Fun Fest five years ago. The campus student government, some of who are students in the program, now coordinates the event. At the Fun Fest, organizations such as the YMCA and Boy Scouts of America have informational tables for parents looking for programs to enroll their children in. However, the event is a group effort, even the local high school cheerleaders’ volunteered with the face painting.

Bill Jordan of Boardman, Ohio said standing in the hot air balloon excited him because it’s one of his favorite hobbies.

“Man, this reminds me of hot air ballooning in Albuquerque; 100 balloons and only one took fight,” Jordan laughed.

Jordan and his wife Karen both agreed that it’s a great outreach effort from the community.

“I love that we were able to collaborate with so many businesses and the relationships that came from it,” McCallagh said. “It’s good for both current Kent State Salem students and for the kids who may attend in the future.”

Contact Issac Profitt at [email protected]