People of all ages went to Sehmel Homestead Park on Saturday for some summer fun during the sixth annual Family FunFest.
An estimated 4,000 people attended the event.
“Every year, it gets bigger,” said Gretchen Hayes, PenMet Parks’ recreation manager. “Family FunFest is a great way to kick off the summer. The event brings the community together, celebrates families and promotes community awareness and partnerships.”
Family FunFest was free, but attendees were asked to donate $2 for each child. The event is funded with a variety of sources. The parks district helps to contribute, along with concessions proceeds. Vendors pay a fee for booth space, and sponsors also contribute financial support.
“Sponsorships and donations are really important for the park district to continue to offer community events,” Hayes said.
Children enjoyed a range of activities, from bouncy houses, slides and a water launcher, to paintball, archery and play areas. Family-friendly performances also put on interactive shows throughout the day.
One performer, the Bubbleman, captured the audience with his unique bubble-making objects. He moved in circles and created giant bubbles that floated throughout the crowd. Children swarmed around him to play with the bubbles.
The planning committee also wanted performers to have an educational factor, Hayes said. The Son of the Reptile Man brought snakes, lizards and alligators, while other performers included a demonstration from Pierce County Canine, a Rowdy Referee Family Game Show and Roberto the Magnificent, a comedy show.
More than 50 business, non-profits and crafts vendors were set up for people to walk around and look at, and 66 people volunteered to help at the event, Hayes said.
“This event takes lots of volunteers, and we couldn’t offer events without our great volunteers,” she said.
Macy Hombach, a volunteer for Harbor Christian Center, enjoyed working at the event.
“I took away from this experience that volunteering can be fun,” she said.
The park was filled with first-time visitors, as well as regular family visitors.
“We came out because we love the park,” said Jenny Knowles, who brought her daughter to the event.
Hayes said she hoped attendees would learn about the parks district, too.
“It is becoming one of those events that the community looks forward to, and we are able to add more offerings each year through our sponsors, partnerships and volunteer groups,” she said.
“Of course I would go again,” Hombach said.