COVER STORY | By JANELLE FAIGNANT
The Creative Economy and Come Alive Outside want to entice you to get outside.
“It’s been quite some time since you’ve seen kids outside climbing trees,” Creative Economy Chair Paul Gallo said. “Thirty years ago, kids and families were doing more things outside.”
Their mission is a perfect fit with the rentable 37 acres of outdoor space at the fairgrounds.
The State Fairgrounds on Route 7 in partnership with Creative Economy and Come Alive Outside will host activities from numerous local organizations in the first-ever Family Fun Day at the Fairgrounds on Sunday August 2, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Come Alive Outside, a worldwide organization dedicated to getting more people engaged in their communities, shares a vision with Creative Economy.
“We are always looking to find ways to nurture not only the economy side of things in this area, but also to just get people out socializing,” Gallo said.
Along the infield and track in front of the grandstand, you can take a penalty shot on a Castleton College goalie, learn to play bocce on a replicated court like the one at the Italian American Club, and check out the diversity of activities offered, ranging from active to educational to artistic.
The event will be set up similarly to the fair, where people can roam around and take advantage of the food and activities. There’s something for everyone, open to all ages, and it’s all free.
“The fairgrounds is reaching out to the community, and our organization is certainly reaching out to the fairgrounds,” Gallo said, “because it’s a parcel of property that really should have a vision. They’re working hard to make a go of it, and we want to help. I think everyone in the community would love to see more activities there. And I think they’re headed in that direction, which is wonderful for our community.”
“I don’t think that many people know the fairgrounds are actually rentable,” Kimberly Griffin, a member of Creative Economy said. “You can use it to host events.”
Many of the activities offered at this event are meant to get kids moving and engaged and having fun. And there are other activities, like the Chaffee Art Center’s Community Mural, that are less physically active, but still community-focused. Anyone can paint part of the mural, a large picture capturing our local farm-to-food movement. The finished piece will be shared during Art in the Park, August 8 and 9, and then hung at the Vermont Farm and Food Center.
“The Vermont State Fair and the fairgrounds holds lots of fond memories for me,” Chaffee Executive Director Margaret Creed Barros said. “Both as a child growing up here and as a young mom raising my two daughters in this city. I’m excited to be working with other area organizations through the Creative Economy to help put on a fun family outdoor event on the fairgrounds lawn. It is such a wonderful location and should be used more.”
The Chaffee will also host a bubble table at the event, in addition to the mural. Among some of the other organizations who will be there are Come Alive Outside, with an obstacle course, sack races, and a Chip + Dart, where participants can chip a Nerf golf ball about 20 yards, aiming for a green that looks like a dart board.
RAPAC’s Kohl’s Bike Trailer will be filled with bikes and helmets for kids ages 4-10, with fun ways for kids to learn about bike safety, and take a ride on the fairgrounds track.
You can play a round of games at the Rutland Rec Go Play station, and check out the new Panna Soccer, played in an octagon-shaped pit.
And education resources like the Agency of Natural Resources will be there, with a Vermont River Corridor and Floodplain Management Program with real-life examples of conflicts that occur in towns between managing stormwater, and other infrastructure and their interactions with rivers.
The Rutland City Fire Department will be there to show kids about fire trucks. And you can meet Rutland City Police Department’s K9 Officer Jennifer Czachor and K9 King Jagger.
The Creek Path and Friday Night Live were both off-shoot events of the Creative Economy movement, and the hope is that the success of Family Fun Day at the Fairgrounds this year will see it become another anticipated annual Rutland event.
Janelle Faignant is a freelance writer living in Rutland.
CHECK IT OUT
Chip + Dart
Come Alive Outside: Participants will have a chance to chip a Nerf golf ball about 20 yards, aiming for a green that looks like a dart board. Just like 18-hole golf, goal is to earn the lowest score.
Come Alive Outside: Just like our parents and grandparents did!! Good old fashion sack races!!! Challenge your kids, your friends or a member of the community….. Jump in, line up and go!
Come Alive Outside: All-ages fun! Our obstacle course will include a balance beam, belly crawl, rope over, egg carry and balloon hitting. Come challenge yourself, or a friend!
Kohl’s Bike Trailer
RAPAC: Filled to the brim with bikes (and helmets!) for kids ages 4-10, this trailer is bursting with fun ways for kids to learn about bike safety and the rules of the road, and practice their biking skills on the fairgrounds track.
100 Miles in 100 Days
RAPAC: Aug 2 is day 10 of 100, the last day to register for this walking challenge. Join walkers for a jaunt around the track, time your laps to see just how snappy you can step!
Soccer Shooter Challenge
CSC: How about trying a penalty shot on a Castleton State College Lady’s goalie — bragging rights included if you score! MC Sound might just announce your name on the loudspeaker too…
Bocce Court Play
Italian American Club: There are over 225 men and women Italian-American Club bocce players in Rutland, over 100 Rutland Intermediate School players and 2 World Special Olympic Medalists. Bocce is the fastest growing participatory sport in America. All ages welcome. Just practice some shots or play a game.
Lacrosse Shooter Challenge
Rutland Rec: Kids, come try your luck at scoring a goal on a local lacrosse goalie. Bring your stick, or we will have some on hand.
GAGA Ball & Panna Soccer
Rutland Rec: Stop by the Rutland Rec Go Play station and play a round of games. Step in the Gaga Pit with 4-6 other players and attempt to be the last one standing in this hands-only knock-out game played with a 4-square ball. Prefer using your feet? Check out the new Panna Soccer! 1v1 or 2v2 soccer played in an octagon-shaped pit with nets at either end. Cornhole, the backyard beanbag toss game, will be set up for 1v1 or 2v2. All ages welcome to Go Play with the Rutland Rec!
Fruits & Veggies
Vermont Department of Health: Come color with Vermont Department of Health. We will have fruit and veggie coloring pages as well as some recipes to take home. We will also be the spot you come to pick up your fruit for the smoothie bike! Don’t forget to get your fruit or veggie tattoo before you leave! Enrolled in WIC? Let us know and we will mark you off for your WIC approved activity!
“Power of Produce” station
Marble Valley Grows: Empowering youth to make healthy food choices by engaging them in educational activities at family events, the POP club puts “buying power” and decision making directly into little hands. Earn a token for a smoothie from the Fender Blender by completing fun activities at the POP tent.
Fender Blender Smoothie Bike
RAFFL, Marble Valley Grows, Vermont Department of Health: Like smoothies? How about bikes? The smoothie bike, sponsored by BCBS of VT, promotes physical fitness and wellness! Thanks to joint efforts from local food and wellness organizations, we’ve got local berries, delicious Vermont yogurt, and yummy fruit juices so you can pedal your way to a healthy and delicious smoothie.
Infant Comfort Station
WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors: Do you plan to visit the Family Fun Day? Then check out the Infant Comfort Station. It’s a comfortable place for families to take a break from all the fun. There are rocking chairs to feed babies, information on breastfeeding, and a changing table.
VT River Corridor and Floodplain Management Program
Agency of Natural Resources: The river flume model is part of ANR’s education and outreach efforts with communities. We will set up real-life examples of conflicts that occur in towns between managing our stormwater, development, roads and other infrastructure and their interactions with rivers. The flume will be set up to run demonstrations that will show the potential impacts and long-term effects on our rivers from projects such as bank stabilization, stormwater inputs, development in the floodplain, and infrastructure installations.
Chaffee Art Center: Join friends and neighbors to paint part of a community mural! Ages eight to adult or younger children with the assistance of an adult partner will be given a section of a large “farm-fresh foods scene” to paint on a canvas, and all the finished pieces will get attached together to create a large community mural. The finished piece will be shared, or finished if some portions are not completed, during Art in the Park August 8-9, then hung at the VT Farm and Food Center for all to enjoy.
Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum: Design and build amazing structures with our big blue blocks.
Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum: Discover how things are pulled toward the earth by tossing balls on our big parachutes and lifting your parent with a lever.
Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum: Explore sound with some unusual instruments and make your own rain stick.
Composting Food Scraps, Recycling, & ACT 148
RCSWD: But what to do with any refuse? Rutland County Solid Waste District will be on hand to not only educate everyone about the new Universal Recycling Laws, but they will have bins set up to practice, too! Food scraps collected from the day will be composted at College of St. Joseph and all recyclables will be sorted by RCSWD.
Rutland City Fire Department: RCFD will be on hand to keep everyone safe and for everyone to explore the truck. Come by and say “thank you” to our firefighters!
Rutland City Police Department: Come meet K9 Officer Jennifer Czachor and K9 King Jagger of Rutland City’s K-9 unit. See just how friendly, fierce, smart and skilled K9 King Jagger proves to be in serving out city.
Soft pretzels, hot dogs, cotton candy, candy apples and more… available for purchase.
For more information contact Rutland Recreation and Parks at 802.773.1822