09/02/14 — Safety, more fun are being planned for 2014 KidsFest

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Safety, more fun are being planned for 2014 KidsFest

By John Joyce
Published in News on September 2, 2014 1:46 PM

Wayne County KidsFest 2014 is going to be big -- much bigger than in previous years, Goldsboro Fire Marshal John Morton said.

The event is set for Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Berkeley Mall.

KidsFest, now in its 20th year, is a community outreach event that promotes safety and wellness.

"It has been an event for children and families from Wayne County and surrounding areas, but this year we have opportunities we didn't have in the past," Morton said.

An outdoor stage will be erected by The Bridge Church in the Sears parking lot for musical performances.

"We want to have some youth groups perform, have kids out there entertaining other kids," he said. "And the portable stage allows us more opportunity for entertainment and a larger audience. Then we can sell our safety message."

Vendors and interactive booths are also planned for the parking area. The goal is to educate children and families on safety and prevention.

This year's theme is "Safety: It takes all of us!"

Special guests Sparky the Fire Dog and McGruff the Crime Dog will be on hand, and the Goldsboro Fire and Police Departments will conduct demonstrations and man booths to teach children the importance of smoke alarms and evacuation plans, how to stop slips, trips and falls and how to be aware of their surroundings.

"For those willing to go through my little prepared course to simulate an evacuation, we'll give them a free smoke detector donated by Lowe's Home Improvement," Morton said.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Fire Inspector Eric Harper and other base representatives also will be present to offer their input.

"We have a 10-foot inflatable firefighter we're hoping to bring out," Morton said.

The Goldsboro Family Y, Wayne Community College, The Wayne County chapter of the American Red Cross, Sears, and the Partnership for Children of Wayne County are all participating. Other community partners are invited to contact Morton for information on how they can get in on the action.

One community partner already on board is Tommy Chen's Martial Arts and Fitness Center on N.C. 111 South. Chen said there will be demonstrations and board breaking available for children, as well as other entertaining displays.

Wayne County Health Department education director Ava Crawford said the goal is to keep things entertaining.

"We really want to push this and make it fun, but also make it an educational and interactive experience," Mrs. Crawford said.

KidsFest 2014 is still in the planning stages. Anyone interested in participating is asked to contact Morton at 919-750-2218, 919-739-7408, or email jmorton@goldsboronc.gov.

Inquiries may also be directed to Ava Crawford at the Wayne County Health Department by calling 919-731-1290, or by sending emails to ava.crawford@waynegov.com.