AVON — The annual Hendricks County Kids Fair is coming back to Avon High School, this being the 13th installment of the event which is now put on by Prevent Child Abuse Hendricks County.
The fair will run from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 28 in the high school gym and is designed by the non-profit group the give families a free outlet to spend time with one another, and learn about community organizations.
“One of our main goals is to have free, non-stressful events that we hold throughout the year,” Cassy Woodrum, community outreach coordinator for PCAHC, explained.
The Kids Fair typically draws around 3,000 people.
This year’s event will feature free food and refreshments, door prizes, live entertainment, giveaways, and games. There will also be balloon animals, face painting, and a bounce house.
The event is dubbed as a safe alternative to Halloween trick or treating as well, and those attending are encouraged to wear costumes.
“We like to send out and encourage safe environments for the kids,” Woodrum said. “Everything is monitored so it’s a safe, free event that’s not stressful for the parents and that’s one of the main missions. We’ve seen, since the recession, a lot of people choose to stay in and do things because they cost money. That’s kind of the point of the event, to get families out of their households. It’s fun for both the parent as well as the kid. We do focus on the children, but the booths and vendors do focus on making it a fun event for everyone.”
While supplies last, there will be free pumpkins for families to take home and decorate as well.
“Bounce houses are expensive, and the free pumpkins are always a hit,” Woodrum said. “Every family likes having a pumpkin. The first people that come with a canned food item, we exchange it for a pumpkin.”
The fair is also one of the largest coat drive and food drives of the year locally. Hundreds of food items are collected for the food pantry coalition and Woodrum said that anything families could bring to help the less fortunate would go to good use.
She said the event also serves as an opportunity for people to become educated on important issues related to child abuse.
“I would say one of the common misconceptions that people go to is that they think people that do end up in abusing situations are not necessarily the people you’d assume,” she said. “Working adults are sometimes more stressed, trying to provide for family, and a lot of times people think it’s always the stereotypical family in the abusing situation and I think that’s kind of misguided.
“Also, a lot of times people assume it’s a counselor’s or an authority figure’s (responsibility) to report on situations.”
That, she stressed, is not the case. Woodrum said it’s the responsibility of everyone to report what might be suspicious abusive activity. She said Indiana has a “can’t tell” policy, which other states do not have, that means those making reports can keep their identity confidential.
For more information about the Kids Fair and PCAHC, visit the website at pcahendricks.org or call 891-4PCA.
Just the facts
WHAT: Hendricks County Kids Fair
WHEN: noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 28
WHERE: Avon High School gymnasium