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Posted: Tuesday, October 23rd 2012 at 11:03pm

Free Children's Fun Festival set Thursday night in Clarkesville

By Rob Moore Editor
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Habersham County E-9-1-1 Communications will host its sixth-annual Children's Fun Festival from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Habersham County Fairgrounds in Clarkesville.
MT. AIRY – The staff at Habersham County E-9-1-1 Communications is busy making final preparations for Thursday night’s sixth-annual Habersham E-9-1-1 Children’s Fun Festival.

The free event has been moved from the Emergency Operations Center in Mt. Airy to the Habersham County Fairgrounds in Clarkesville to accommodate exponential growth.

The rationale behind the event is what makes it unique, organizers say.
“9-1-1 is the heart of public service, and too often we fail to get the opportunity to meet the community we serve,” said 9-1-1 Dispatch Supervisor Jennifer Moulder, one of the organizers of the event.

“Over the past six years, 9-1-1 has developed this event to give our staff the opportunity to interact with the community,” Moulder said. “The Children’s Fun Festival allows children to become acclimated with emergency services and gain important educational material.”

This year’s totally free event will feature trunk or treat, hayrides, helicopters, animal attractions, safety demonstrations, face painting, interactive exhibits, mascots, clowns, and public safety vehicles. In addition, the Georgia Army National Guard will be bringing some of its vehicles.

“In order to make the most of this year’s event, we have reached out to community organizations, Habersham County agencies, as well as public safety agencies outside our county lines,” Moulder said. “We look forward to the fun and success of this event for our area children.”

One of the attractions coming into town for the event is Georgia Operation Lifesaver’s mobile exhibit truck, which teaches children, adults and commercial drivers about safety around railroads and railroad crossings. The tractor-trailer truck includes a locomotive simulator where visitors can experience what an engineer sees and feels as he or she approaches a vehicle railroad grade crossing.

Bringing that truck will be John Cross of Covington, an area coordinator for Georgia Operation Lifesaver, who in June received the F. Tom Roberts Memorial Volunteer Award from Operation Lifesaver for his education efforts. For the past 12 years, Cross has managed the GOL mobile exhibit truck, coordinating drivers for the exhibit as it travels around the state.

Children and their parents will be able to visit booths inside the Dewey H. Tench Market Pavilion at the fairgrounds, where they also can pause for pictures with mascots and talk with firefighters, law enforcement personnel, 9-1-1 dispatchers and paramedics.

Another special guest who will be visiting with children is Gwinnett Braves mascot Chopper, who will pause for pictures with children and parents.
But Chopper is only one of the more than a dozen mascots who will be taking part in the festival.

Parents are encouraged to bring a camera to capture memories of their children visiting with mascots, clowns, public safety personnel, and experiencing emergency vehicles and other activities.

Also during the event, Habersham County residents and business owners will have the opportunity to stop by the Habersham County E-9-1-1 Communications booth to update the information dispatchers have on file about their home or business should they need to dial 9-1-1. Those who own livestock also can stop by the table and let personnel know where their animals are kept in the event one gets out and personnel need to notify the owner.

After looking over all there is to see in the pavilion, wander over to the Ottis “Stoney” Stonecypher Livestock Market Pavilion, where Habersham County Animal Control will be set up with animals. In addition, Virginia Webb will be teaching about bees and beekeeping, veterinary hospitals from the area will have exhibits, Georgia Farm Bureau will have activities, there will be the opportunity to learn about horse rescue in the area, and children can visit with chickens, goats and pigs.

The Fun Rodeo will be held in the arena at the fairgrounds. Activities included in the Fun Rodeo include: cones, tissue paper race, poles, potato race, Texas barrels, egg and spoon, arena race, costume contest (horse and rider), and cloverleaf.

Admission to attend the Children’s Fun Festival and the Fun Rodeo, which will be held from 6-8 p.m., is free.

Rodeo participants will pay $5 per event or $40 to enter all nine, with those proceeds going to support future Fun Festivals. Competitions will be held for those ages 12 and younger and those 13 and older.

Much of the planning and preparation for the festival has be done by 9-1-1 personnel in their off time, they say as their way to give back to the community.

Volunteering in various capacities at the event will be members of the Civil Air Patrol Currahee Composite Squadron from Toccoa.

The Lions Club will be at the festival collecting any used eyeglasses, so those attending are asked to bring any glasses or lenses they or their family no longer need to be donated to the Lions Club for eyeglass recycling.

All attractions at Thursday’s Children’s Fun Festival are subject to change due to availability and weather.

Habersham County Fairgrounds is located at 4235 Toccoa Highway, Clarkesville.
Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News

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