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Carnival attracts 5,000 families

City, Boys & Girls Club, host Day for Kids at park

Posted: September 20, 2008 8:17 p.m.
Updated: November 22, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Sarah Alvara holds her daughter Zoie Panagopoulos, as Alvara's husband, Victor Alvara, holds their 8-month-old baby Aiden as they enjoy music at the Day for Kids organized by the city of Santa Clarita and the Boys & Girls Club on Saturday at Newhall Park.

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The organizers of Day for Kids had one thought when they created this year’s carnival: If mothers and fathers each have their own days of recognition, why can’t kids have a special day too?

For the third year, the city of Santa Clarita and SCV Boys & Girls Club teamed to host Day for Kids, giving the youngsters of the Santa Clarita Valley a fun-filled day complete with rides, food and games at Newhall Park.

“It’s a day to have fun activities for kids and parents,” said Patrick Downing, arts and event supervisor for the city’s Parks, Recreation & Community Services department.

He expected up to 5,000 families at the afternoon event, a slight increase from last year.

Day for Kids brought together more than 70 vendors, which included local nonprofit groups, businesses and other children’s services organizations.

Downing believes the number is a big jump from three years ago when the day first began.

“We’ve almost doubled in size,” he said.

Jim Ventress, chief professional officer of the SCV Boys and Girls Club, credits the increase to more people wanting to be involved in a day that’s just for kids.

A big draw of the event is that everything from the food to raffles and rides are free, giving kids full access to everything.

It’s one reason Soren Halladay of Newhall enjoys bringing his family.

Saturday was the second time Halladay and his wife brought their four kids, ranging in age from 4 months to 6 years old, to the carnival.

“Our kids are really active,” he said standing before the inflatable slide. “They like to the do the inflatable jumpers.”

With all the food and activities, Halladay said his family could spend the whole day at Day for Kids.

“It’s a free carnival,” he said. “A free Disneyland.”

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