Homecoming delights kids with activities

PARKERSBURG – During an event with activities and attractions for all ages, even the youngest visitors had a chance to participate and have fun on Saturday during the Parkersburg Homecoming Festival, which concludes today in downtown Parkersburg.

The second day of the annual festival concluded Saturday night with the annual Homecoming Fireworks Display from Fort Boreman Hill.

From a coloring contest to a variety of games where ice cream was the final prize to a dog show and a pretty baby contest, many people came out to Bicentennial Park on Saturday for a variety of activities while enjoying the Homecoming weekend in Parkersburg.

Around 70 kids participated in the coloring contest, sponsored by Captain D’s.

“The kids enjoy it,” event organizer Angela Richards said. “There are cash prizes and each kid gets a toy for participating and coloring a sheet.

“We have some kids who come back every year to do it. They really like it.”

The coloring contest was held at the end of the parade route and many parents just brought their kids over for a little bit of a rest and some fun on Saturday afternoon.

“Right there is the end of the parade and they just walk over here,” Richards said.

Many of the kids participating enjoyed coloring the different pictures while parents were appreciative of being able to sit down for a few minutes while the kids were coloring.

There were five dogs that participated in this year’s Homecoming Dog Show, sponsored by Winding Roads Kennel, on Saturday afternoon. People dressed their dogs up to the delight of the crowd. Organizers are looking to grow and expand the show in the future.

Nearby was the Third Annual Pressley Ridge Ice Cream Challenge where participants played a series of games and did a number of activities and at the end they could get a cone or a cup of ice cream.

The Challenge had many people, especially families, participating in games that included cornhole tosses, a marble challenge, a game where groups of people have to keep a beachball up in the air, Skittle Races, ring toss, facepainting and others. Once done, participants got to enjoy some ice cream.

“The reward is the ice cream, but there are a number of activities families can do together,” said Franchon Francees, spokesperson for Pressley Ridge. “It is a chance for families to do something different that they haven’t done before.”

This is the third year Pressley Ridge has hosted the event during the homecoming festival.

“Everyone always has fun,” Francees said. “We hope to be back again next year.”

Around 50 young kids were entered in the Pretty Baby Contest. Boys and girls were encouraged to participate. The contest was open to all children ranging in age from newborn to 3 years old.

The judges were looking for babies who smile and are willing to show off as opposed to those who hid their faces behind their parents, organizers said.

Winners were announced in both the boy and girl categories as well as winners for best smile, best personality, most beautiful eyes and others. The results will be released at a later time.

Parents have many reasons for entering their babies in the contest, said organizer Jenni Gibson. However, one reason beats out the others.

“Everyone thinks their baby is beautiful,” she said.

Along with the children’s activities, Saturday at the Parkersburg Homecoming Festival featured a variety of attractions in downtown Parkersburg, including music at the Suddenlink Stage and Riverfront Park Amphitheater, carnival rides, vendors, a talent show and other activities and events.

Many families came down to enjoy the sights and have a good time Saturday in downtown Parkersburg.

Aaron Vann, of Parkersburg, brought his family to Homecoming to have a little fun, including his children Adelaide, 5, and Aydan, 7.

“We thought we would spend a nice day out, enjoy the parade, do a few things, have some fun and get a nice lunch outside,” he said. “We went up by the model railroads and that was fun.”

This was the first time Vann and his family took in a lot of activities around downtown Parkersburg and they were impressed with what all was available on Saturday during Homecoming.

“The older kids were all off doing other things so we thought we would bring the younger kids down for this,” he said.

Jennifer Davis, of Vienna, said she came to Homecoming specifically for the kids activities with her daughters, Megan, 4, and Allie, 2.

“We came to see the parade, the kids are going to get their faces painted and we are going to get something to eat,” she said. “It is something to entertain the kids today.”

Davis has been to the Homecoming Festival before and always appreciates the assortment of things going on.

“There are a variety of activities to do,” she said. “It is a nice thing for families to get out and participate and do something together.”