MONTCALM TOWNSHIP — The forecast originally called for scattered thunderstorms, but families couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable day Wednesday as hundreds of children scattered throughout the Montcalm County 4-H Fairgrounds during the annual Kids Day event.
Jumping from ride to ride at the midway, feeding animals at the petting zoo or waiting patiently to get one’s face painted, the fairgrounds were full of children and adults on a day that Kids Day Coordinator Shari Potter said couldn’t have gone better.
“It’s been awesome, perfect really,” she said. “We’ve had a really good turnout with more than 400 people attending today’s Kids Day.”
Potter said the cooperation of the weather was an unexpected surprise, as her only concern with the event was if thunderstorms originally predicted for the day would arrive or not.
“People were calling me left and right asking, ‘Are you still having it?’” she said. “The only way I was canceling was if we were to have a tornado, but we ended up having awesome weather.”
There were a variety of events offered this year during the five-hour event, with many vendors providing small games inside the air-conditioned Ash Building on a day where temperatures reached into the low 80s.
“I cranked the air conditioning this morning, something we didn’t have last year” she said. “It’s been wonderful for all of these vendors to have a relaxed environment to work with.”
Immediately outside the Ash Building, visitors were greeted with the opportunity to pet a variety of farm animals, as well as go on pony rides.
Three year-old Emery Beard, of Greenville, smiled and waved as she rode her pony around and around. Upon finishing her ride, she eagerly sprinted back into line, jumping up and down hoping for a second ride.
At the petting zoo, Ferris Plumb, of Greenville, arrived with her daughter, nieces and nephews.
“We just got here, and things have been great so far,” she said. “We usually try and come every year. The kids always enjoy it.”
Three-year-old Diego Plumb followed his older cousins around in a haste, while attempting to feed each and every animal he could, with water for the ducks and feed for the goats.
“This is fun!” he shouted with a smile.
New to this year’s Kids Day included extrication demonstrations by the members of the Montcalm Township Fire Department and Montcalm Emergency Medical Safety.
The firefighters also took a break from their demonstration to spray water into the air, dousing kids on one of the hottest days of summer thus far.
Foot-traffic eventually shifted from the Ash Building to the midway, full of rides and food vendors, which opened at 1 p.m. At a discounted rate of $12, a wristband could be purchased for unlimited rides, which many visitors took advantage of.
There were small, unique roller coaster and train rides for the youngest of children and larger, more daring rides such as the Cyclone Swings and speedy Quasar ride for older children and adults.
The midway will open at 3 p.m. today and Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday, with all-day wristbands at a cost of $15.
Grandstand events will continue at 7 p.m. each night, with the tractor pull tonight, rodeo on Friday, and Demolition Derby on Saturday.