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Fun Fest A Springtime Hit
Two-year-old Dominik Wood had a blast playing with the colorful balls at one of the free game stations offered at the 8th annual Kids Fest and Safety Fair co-hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Oakdale and City of Oakdale. - photo by Kim Van Meter/The Leader

It’s an event that draws the community in droves and with good reason, much like the Halloween parade, the Kid’s Fest and Safety Fair is all about the kids.

For the eighth year, the Oakdale Kiwanis and City of Oakdale joined together to host a free community event where everything is geared toward entertaining the youngest demographic.

“The event seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year,” Linda Royalty, City of Oakdale Recreation Supervisor said. “It’s exciting to see how much the kids enjoy it. There aren’t that many free activities anymore. This and the Halloween parade are the only ones left. It’s great for the community and the kids really love it.”

And it’s all about the kids, from the 6,000 plastic eggs hidden in the baseball fields at Kerr Park to the games and free lunch as well. Children from all ages and walks of life spend the day creating good memories while their parents snap pictures and enjoy the beauty of an event they didn’t have to put together.

Stefanie Western, a first-time attendee with her two children Gavin, 7, and Morgan, 5, was happy her friend suggested she attend, saying, “It’s great fun and the kids are having a blast. Our friends come every year and invited us to come along. I’m glad we did and we’ll definitely come back next year.”

For the Kiwanis Club, the event is an opportunity to give back to the community as well as honor the club’s charter, according to Kiwanis member Steve Wikoff.

“Our main function as a club is to serve the children of the world and this event does that,” Wikoff said. “We enjoy doing the work so the kids can enjoy the fruits of our labor.”

Kiwanis Club members manned the grill as hot dogs sizzled while chips and drinks were also handed out. Free popcorn was also available as well as games and activities.

The Kiwanis Club, sponsors of the Halloween parade as well, hold one fundraiser a year to help fund these community events, Wikoff said.

“Each year we hold a golf tournament in October to raise funds,” he said. This year’s Kiwanis golf fundraiser will be held Oct. 4.

The Oakdale City Police had the Mobile Command Center manned by volunteers and Oakdale Irrigation District was there sharing information about water safety.