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By KELLY RICHARDSON
ELIZABETHTOWN — Tana Barnett watches her daughter crawl through a caterpillar-shaped, multicolored tube. There are many other games around, but crawling through the cylindrical toy is what Kate, 2, seemed to enjoy best.
“She’s done this about 10 times,” Barnett said, laughing.
The caterpillar toy was just one activity available on the lakeshore, as children filled Freeman Lake Park on Saturday morning for the 13th annual Children’s Fair, sponsored by Quicksie 98.3, The Wolf 94.3 and the Heart of Kentucky Association of Realtors.
Kids took advantage of the games and activities sponsored by 27 vendors, including a sack race, a football toss and karaoke, and made sure to load up on as many prizes as possible.
There were 500 or more children at the event, said Jennifer Meyers, marketing specialist at Quicksie.
“I think this is the best one we’ve ever had yet,” Meyers said.
The event is free, which was a big part of what sponsors wanted to create 13 years ago – something fun for children and at no cost to parents.
“The kids love it, and the parents love it because it’s free,” she said.
This was the first year Barnett, of Elizabethtown, had attended the fair. She liked that she didn’t need to pay a lot of money for rides, like she might have at other fairs. And watching her daughter go in one end of the pink and orange tunnel and come out the other, Barnett said Kate was having just as much fun this way, too.
“They get as much kick out of little stuff like this as they do rides,” she said.
G.W. Johnson, an inventory associate at The Home Depot, was working the home improvement store’s booth, where children learned to build memory trays. The booth was an extension of The Home Depot’s Children’s Workshop, where kids learn to build different items once a month.
At about 11 a.m., with an hour left of the fair, the Home Depot booth already had seen enough traffic to deplete it of supplies.
“We wish we could’ve had more kids” participate at the booth, Johnson said.
Charlene Marlett, of Elizabethtown, had several kids in tow with her and her friends, Mandy Wilmoth and Regina Johnson. Marlett said they had never attended the fair but thought it would be fun for the children. And she was right.
“We’re having a ball, we are having a blast,” she said.
Kelly Richardson can be reached at (270) 505-1747.