Parents who are concerned about little Johnny or Sally spending too much time with the computer or watching television have a good opportunity to get them outside this weekend.
The third-annual “Kids Outdoor Healthy Expo: Unplugged,” scheduled Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Riverside Park in Mount Airy, will offer fishing along with various games and activities. Also included will be a family fun walk on the Ararat River Greenway there.
“It’s ‘unplugged,’ so that means away from the computers, the TVs — all the electronics, and back out to the outdoors,” said Fonda Mooney, family services director at Reeves Community Center. The Mount Airy Parks and Recreation Department is spearheading the event that also involves more than 10 other entities.
It is free of charge and open to the public. More than 200 people attended the gathering in each of its first two years.
In addition to fishing along the Ararat River and the fun walk, the expo — also billed as “Healthy Kids Day 2012” — will include a jump castle, disc golf, corn hole games, sack races, hula hoops, a softball throw, gardening, face painting, a climbing wall, relays, healthy snack demonstrations, a bike rodeo, fire trucks, a dunking booth, a pedal car and recycling information.
Even the fishing rods will be provided for free, which can be reserved by calling the community center at 786-8313. Or participants may bring their own gear. The event additionally will include free bike helmets while supplies last.
Mooney said all the activities are designed not only to encourage children to be active, but have fun. “It’s open to the whole community, the families,” she said of the emphasis on parents and kids sharing time together.
This year, organizers are specifically seeking participation by all area schools in the family fun/fitness walk along with the public in general. It starts at 10 a.m. from the section of the greenway located near the soccer field at Riverside Park. Walkers are urged to wear their school colors, with the one achieving the most participants to receive an award.
The Health Occupation Student Association (HOSA) of Mount Airy High School is coordinating the walk that is geared toward the entire family.
Other partners involved with Saturday’s event include the North Carolina Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Stone Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Surry Health and Nutrition Center, the Mount Airy Police Department, Mount Airy Fire Department, Mount Airy Public Services, Modern Gardeners, the One Special Wish Foundation, Lowe’s Home Improvements, Girl Scouts, the Reeves Community Center Foundation, Charles the Chef and others.
Mooney said different stations will be set up at the park by some of those participants.
More information is available from Reeves Community Center/Mount Airy Parks and Recreation at 786-8313.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or email@example.com.