With school on the horizon, hundreds of children revelled in summer at Fun Day at the Park on Friday.
“I like it here because there’s many different stations and I like the playgrounds,” said Payton Jansen, 6, after she climbed off one of the two ponies giving rides at Norton Park. “The Fun Day’s really fun because you get to take your stuff home.”
“It gets everyone out on a nice day instead of being inside,” said Payton’s mother, Jennifer Jansen, calling it “a last hurrah before they go back to school.”
The day’s success was thanks to the town’s summer camp counselors, said Camp Coordinator Kelly McCabe, who organized the event.
Not only did the counselors run most of Friday’s activities, including face painting, a dunk tank and papier-mâché flower-making, they also made this year’s camp so enjoyable that families wanted to come out one last time.
While many campers were there, the event was open to the public.
“It feels good. Our staff certainly put in a lot of work.” McCabe said. “We’ve had the best summer we’ve had in five or six years.”
“This is the biggest crowd I think we’ve ever seen,” said Parks and Recreation Director Colin Regan, estimating that around 1,000 people visited Norton Park throughout the three-hour Fun Day.
The dunk tank was especially popular, as kids lined up to soak the people who had been in charge of them at camp.
And the dunk tank is a rite of passage for the newest lifeguards in town, who each spend a short shift being plunged into the tub.
While delicately applying a temporary tattoo during Fun Day, Alec Snyder said he enjoyed the experience of working with children as a counselor over the summer and looks forward to seeing many of the kids again next year.