Judging from attendance, FunFest was a hit with residents of Englewood and surrounding communities as hundreds of people attended the Aug. 10 event at Belleview Park that was billed as “A Hometown Fair with a Flair.”
Vendors offered a variety of food items for sale and there was a small fee for some of the activities like the rope course and bungee jump. However, there was no cost for most of the events, such as using beads to make a bracelet or creating chalk art.
“I love art and it is fun to create something in chalk,” Jayne Thomas said as she created a flower. “I saw artists doing chalk art on the sidewalk downtown last week. It looked like fun and I decided to try it. It is fun.”
She has been in Englewood about a year and said attending Funfest was a good decision for her and her daughter.
“We learned a lot today about city programs that we didn’t know,” she said. “We also are having fun because my daughter and I can can both take part in so many of the activities. It is a great event and I hope they keep having it.”
A short distance away, Ryan Hawkins was helping his son Noah work on a project out of wood. The annual booth sponsored by Loews has the kits and tools parents and their children need to complete the project. This year, the project was to create models of two characters from the movie, “Monsters 2.”
“It is fun to get to work with my son like this,” Ryan said as he helped the 4-year-old line up some of the nails. “We are having a great time here today and it really is a good way to spend a day together.”
There were booths sponsored by local companies and displays put on by city departments. For example, Health One had a booth emphasizing the need for children riding bikes to wear a helmet and fitted helmets for children who didn’t have helmets while just down the midway, the Englewood Community Garden had fresh vegetables available for a donation.
One booth was staffed by a group of residents seeking to raise funds to build the Englewood High School Military Memorial to those EHS graduates who died in wars. The proposal is to have the memorial installed during the construction of the seventh- through 12-grade campus on the EHS site.
The portable stage was set up at the south end of the fair so adults and children in parks and recreation classes could perform. Performers ranged from a solo guitarist to a group of adult belly dancers. Instructor Gina Fontaine gathered dozens of children and some of their parents around her, handed out the instruments and conducted a drum circle.
Joel Givens and his two young daughters sat in the shade watching the members of parks and recreation department classes perform on the stage.
”We came to check out the event and my girls were drawn to the music and the stage,” he said. “From what I have seen, this is a great event. It is well organized and there are so many hands-on things for the girls to do. I like it a lot and I plan to come back next year and bring more family members.”