It's not everyday that's Children's Day

"Youngsters of all ages get ready for the sack races at Children's Day last year, but realize something is wrong. Parents and volunteers come to the rescue, explaining that two legs go into one sack, rather than one leg in each. The races then took place without a hitch and with many laughs and giggles.Third Annual Children's Day is Saturday, Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation fields, Maxwelton Road, Langley. Admission is free.Colorful kites will fly overhead, Deano the Clown will float his giant parachute, kids can get tattoos and painted faces, take hula lessons, climb the ropes course, eat pie. And there will be free popcorn, hamburgers and hot dogs for all.All this and much more will be happening this Saturday on the third annual Children's Day at the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation fields in Langley.The day begins with a Run for Kids' Sake at 10 a.m., and the event itself opens at 11 a.m. with a Children's Day Proclamation, a presentation by Gray Eagle and songs sung by the children of South Whidbey Primary School. After that it's a day for having fun: A Tug 'o' War and Pie Eating Contest, storytelling, a children's play and the singing and dancing of the Can Do Kids. Children can fly kites, do some arts and crafts and meet Clifford. And they can bring their bikes for a checkup and meet a Langley Police Officer.Everything on Children's Day is for kids. Many of us remember when as children we would ask our parents on Mother's Day and Father's Day, 'When is Children's Day?' said Kathy McLaughlin, executive director of the Island County/Stanwood Community Network. Most of us heard the answer, 'Every day is children's day.' For many of us that was true, but this is a day to remind us that not every day is children's day for every child in our community, she said. Our Children's Day celebration is to help bring awareness to our community that we are working to make every day a 'children's day.'An all-time favorite of the event is the lunch provided free by South Whidbey Kiwanis, which procures all the food from local grocery stores as donations. Another highlight is the pie eating contest, for which the Soroptimists of South Whidbey are baking pies for the third year in a row. In a companion event, Senior Girl Scout Troop #382 will host the Differently Abled Awareness Fair at South Whidbey Primary School, across Maxwelton Road from the park. There will be performances by the Kids on the Block puppet troupe, demonstrations of sign language and a Perkins brailer, and several other all day activities that will allow kids (and their elders) to experience various sight, hearing, physical and learning disabilities.Children's Day will also include elements of health and safety: a car safety check, bike rodeo, child photo I.D., portable ropes challenge, and a vision screening opportunity. Our goals are embedded in the family support principle, McLaughlin said. We are working hard to align with our state's public safety and health goal, which is to make our communities safer and healthier place in which to live and raise a family, while recognizing that children today are at risk from many things, including alcohol abuse, child abuse, suicide, peer pressure, and the economic and educational challenges of a changing world.Children's Day was established through legislation in 1993. In 1998, the Island County/Stanwood Community Public Health & Safety Network received a grant from the Washington Council for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect to help sponsor the first Children's Day on Whidbey.SCHEDULEON STAGE11:15 Opening Ceremony with Community Building Songs by South Whidbey Primary School students11:30 Reading of the Children's Day Proclamation - Commissioner Bill Thorn11:45 Gray Eagle presentation12:45 Music - Kim Morris1:00Afghan Raffle - Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Island County1:15 Story Telling by the Whidbey Island Waldorf School1:45 Music - Kim Morris2:00 Bike Raffle - South Whidbey Parks & Recreation2:15 Children's Drama with Martha Murphy2:45 Can-Do-Kids3:15Music3:45Closing CeremonyALL DAY ACTIVITIESKite Flying - Sponsored by the Child Abuse Prevention FoundationFace Painting - In a Pinch Crisis and Respite ChildcareArts & Crafts - South Whidbey Children's Center & The Learning ParkChild Photo I.D. - Island County SheriffDeano the Clown Clifford-Sponsored by Volunteers of AmericaFree Popcorn from South Whidbey PTACar Seat Safety Check - Whidbey Island Naval StationFamily Photos and 5-cent Interviews - Island County/Stanwood Community NetworkCelebrate the Differences Awareness Fair - Girl Scouts at South Whidbey Primary SchoolSnack BarTattoos - South Whidbey Family Resource CenterVision Screening - Infant Toddler Early Intervention ProgramSPECIAL EVENTS10:00 Run For Kids' Sake11:00 Run Awards12:15 - Lunch from South Whidbey Kiwanis-- free to all12-1 Tug-o-War12-1 Building Tiles12-2Hula Lessons w/ Lynda Minter & Kathleen Landel1-2 Portable Challenge: Island County Ropes/Challenge Program1-2 Ultimate Frisbee1-3 Pie Eating Contest2-3 Soccer Challenge2-3 Bike Rodeo, Langley Police Dept.BOOTHS*Child Abuse Prevention Foundation*Big Brothers/Big Sisters*In-a-Pinch Crisis & Respite Childcare, *South Whidbey PTA*United Way*Readiness To Learn*South Whidbey Family Resource Center*Island County Health Department*Whidbey Island Naval Station- Family Service Center*Toddler Learning Center*South Whidbey Parks & Recreation*Whidbey Island Waldorf School*Island County/Stanwood Community Network*Ebey Academy, Coupeville*Washington Mutual Bank "

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