WALLINGFORD — Kids participating in activities like face painting, games, painting small ceramics, crafts, and competitions for prizes filled the parking lot at the Spanish Community of Wallingford for the 3rd annual Día del Niño event Friday afternoon.
According to Adriana Rodríguez, executive director, about 250 people attended the event, which is a Mexican tradition.
“I think that one of the things that makes SCOW so special is that we can have events like this that kind of help us connect with the community that we serve,” Jeffrey Necio, SCOW chairman, said. “Events like this show the kids who are living here now a piece of what their parents may have experienced in Mexico. It helps keep that tradition alive.”
Día del Niño, or children’s day, is celebrated on April 30 in Mexico. The holiday was put in place in 1924 by Mexico's 46th President Alvaro Obregon.
Rosa Solis, educator for Wallingford Public Schools, came to the event with her goddaughter Fernanda Hernández. Solis grew up in Mexico City and came to the United States at the age of 27.
“I remember in Mexico there was always a celebration,” she said. “We always had events where teachers would dress up like cartoons or TV characters like from ‘El Chavo’ and give out prizes and candy.”
“It’s always so fun to be part of these celebrations,” she added.
Throughout the event, children participated in competitions with the chance to win prizes. Games like limbo, freeze dance, and musical chairs were part of the contest.
During the game freeze dance, Valeria Mendoza watched her daughters jump to the music, freezing in place when it stopped.
“I grew up in Wallingford and was part of SCOW’s Adelante program when I was younger,” Mendoza said. “It feels good to see them hosting events for the kids and community. I always come to their events with my family.”
In addition to the usual activities, SCOW was able to give the kids a special treat.
“This year we surprised the children with an ice cream truck,” Rodríguez said. “The cooler weather did not stop them from enjoying an ice cream of their choice.”
The Rotary Club of Wallingford donated bubbles, Play-Doh, chalk, and coloring books for the event. Each child was able to pick one item.
“We hope to continue these traditions because it has become one of our favorite events where the families get to have a fun day out with their children,” Rodríguez said.