ASHVILLE-Late-winter weather will have no effect on the status of weekend festivities at the Chautauqua Children's Safety Village.
On Saturday, the third annual Easter Carnival will be held at the Safety Village, next to BOCES on Route 394.
Running from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the festival will feature a variety of Easter-related activities for children and their families. Unlike traditional Easter egg hunts, children will have an opportunity to visit the miniature buildings that make up the Safety Village to play games, win candy and earn prizes.
According to Terri Kindberg, executive director of the Children's Safety Village, hosting festivities in this format provides for a more well-rounded experience.
"We initially started the Easter Carnival three years ago as an Easter egg hunt," said Kindberg. "We had so many people come that first year because all of the other Easter egg hunts had canceled due to bad weather. So we had about 2,000 people that showed up to ours, and there were some people at the very end (of the line) that didn't even get in. Now we have the Easter Carnival so people can come and go, and it's not such a mad rush all at once."
Kindberg also said that the carnival acts as a fundraiser which goes toward the provision of hands-on training at the village.
Other activities provided by the carnival will include face painting, train rides, kids crafts and pictures with the Easter Bunny-courtesy of Priceless Studios. There will be an Easter parade at noon, sponsored by Andriaccio's Restaurant, as well as several contests. Children may register prior to 11:45 a.m. for a "best dressed" contest, and there will be a special corn-hole contest throughout the day, in which the top 10 scoring participants will meet at 12:45 p.m. for a final competition.
Members of the Masonic Lodges of Chautauqua County will also be on-site to offer a free child identification program. Children may have their pictures and fingerprints taken, and parents will receive a free CD with their child's personal information.
A Chinese auction will be offering several gift baskets, and a grand-prize giveaway will include a gift package to Splash Lagoon for a family of four.
"There's plenty of things for kids and adults to do here; it's not just a hunt that's over in 10 minutes," said Kindberg. "We are all about families, and we work to provide an event that people in our community can come to as a family and enjoy some quality time together."
The Easter Carnival is co-sponsored by Media One Group and Bob Evans, which is providing food for the event. General admission will be $1, with free admission for children 2 years old and under. Music and event announcements will be provided by DJ Kevin Luce, of Eternal Nyght Productions.
"We're going to be here rain, shine or snow," said Kindberg. "We're plowed out and ready for the kids to come. Many other (Easter egg hunts) have already canceled, but we're lined up and ready to go. So, kids can put on their snow pants and come on down to the village."