As many know, Kermit the Frog sings, “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green” but Imperial County Child Abuse Prevention Council reminds residents, it is never easy being a parent and you are not alone.
The CAP Council’s 37th annual Children’s Fair thrilled young and formerly young alike at Bucklin Park on Saturday. When launched by founders Peggy Calvin and Sue Talley there was just 12 vendors and 200 children but it has grown to 100 vendors and an attendance of 15,000, noted Yvette Garcia, CAP Council executive director.
“What we want to do is help parents be effective communicators and disciplinarians without corporal punishment,” said Garcia. “This is a public awareness day to spread the mission of strengthening families.”
Co-sponsor, Imperial County Office of Education, made it their mission to inform young people about the dangers of tobacco and asked youngsters to sign a pledge not to smoke, noted Brenda San Roman, ICOE prevention specialist and 15-year fair veteran.
“What keeps me coming back, is every child matters and knowing that you make a difference to help children make healthy choices,” said San Roman.
But of course the fair’s accent was accelerating the fun meter and helping gin up excitement was the Imperial Valley Desert Museum booth. There, children explored their artistic side crafting clay bowls.
Isabella Gerardo, fourth-grader at Heber Elementary School was absorbed in kneading the clay dough like an artisanal master.
“It’s really creative,” said Isabella. “We don’t get to do much crafts at school but at home I like to draw Mog the cat faces.”
Jessica Sanchez, Isabella’s aunt was visiting from her home in Irvine but is from El Centro and thought the weather was perfect for the fair.
“It’s (fair) really great for children in the Valley because it’s isolated and you usually have to drive over the mountain for kid’s attractions,” she said.
Getting a grip at the steering wheel of a city fire truck was William Luevano, student at the Christian Child Care Pre-School. Although a bit of a stretch, William enjoyed exploring the dash accessories but he aspires to a medical career rather than an emergency response agency.
“I’m going to be a doctor,” he said. “I want to fix the heart.”
Parents Elizabeth and Marcus Luevano noted they are regulars at the fair.
“The kids have a good time every year and it’s very family-friendly.” Said Elizabeth Luevano.
Having fun at the event was Estrella Estrada, fifth-grader from the McCabe Elementary School.
“It’s good because I get to do the hoola-hoop,” said Estrella. “At home I play with our dogs, Sam, Bruno and Buddy.”
Estrella’s father, Miguel Noyala called the fair an awesome event.
“I have four kids and any opportunity they can have to get away from the iPad and go outdoors is a great idea,” he said.
Performing in their fearsome yet garishly colored masks was the Calexico Marshal Arts Academy. Leader David Sandoval put students through their paces as they completed a lion’s dance routine. Sandoval called the fair a good opportunity to open doors for the community to come together and support local civic groups.
Francisco Lozano is a fifth-grader at the Duel Elementary School and is studying Kung Fu at the martial arts academy.
“It was a great (the lion’s dance) opportunity to get outdoors and have some fun,” said Francisco.
William Roller, Staff Writer
Imperial Valley Press