LAKEWOOD - Hundreds of area children spent a portion of their weekend at the historical district of Lakewood.
On Saturday, the fourth annual Lakewood Kids' Day provided a variety of activities on what proved to be an ideal day from a weather standpoint.
Primarily held along Chautauqua Avenue, the event was sponsored by the Chautauqua Avenue Merchants, the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Kiwanis Club. Several businesses participated in the event by providing activities for children and, in some cases, holding special sales for the day.
Children gather around to greet Calvert Baker and his pony, Easter Lilly, following Baker’s miniature horse show at the fourth-annual Lakewood Kids’ Day on Saturday.
P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti
The Lakewood businesses involved in Kids' Day included: Mindy's Place, which offered free meals to the children from its special kids' menu; Pearson's Stainglass, which provided crafts; Off the Beaten Path, which hosted "story time surprises" and facepainting; Yesterday's, where children and their families could create their own ice cream sundaes; the Lakewood Apothecary, which provided a counting activity and offered a sale of 20 percent off on kids' vitamins; and Amy's Place, where attendees could sign up for giveaways.
A miniature horse show was provided by Calvert Baker, who performed tricks with his pony, Easter Lilly. Balloons were provided by Harvey, a customer of Mindy's Place, and a sidewalk chalk-coloring contest was also featured.
According to Mindy Sandberg, owner of Mindy's Place and originator of Lakewood Kids' Day, the event was intended to bring children and the community together in a fun way.
"It's just a way to get the community out and involved with our kids," said Sandberg. "On the Fourth of July and that kind of stuff, everybody's busy doing other things and (going) in other directions, so we picked our own day. And it's close to going back to school, so all of our prizes are related to back-to-school supplies."
Sandberg said, over its four-year existence, the event has seen increased attendance from year to year. She said Kids' Day will usually net an average of approximately 125 children, while this year's event looked to be on track for upward of 200 children.
"It gets better every year," Sandberg said. "If you walk the street, all you hear is laughter and kids having a good time."
Sandberg was accompanied at the registration desk in front of Mindy's Place by Tillie Solomonson, a Lakewood historical committee member.
"We're honoring kids," said Solomonson, when asked what the overall theme of the event signifies.
Solomonson said the basis of Lakewood Kids' Day is exemplified in a proclamation from the village of Lakewood. The proclamation, which decreed Saturday as the fourth-annual Kids' Day, states: "The youth of America are our future, and each and every child must be considered special and appreciated. It is incumbent upon all adults in our country to boost the morale, self-confidence and self-esteem of each and every child, and to encourage each and every child to strive to become a contributing member of society."
Businesses which contributed prizes and donations to the fourth-annual Lakewood Kids' Day included: Image Embroidery, Bag & String, M&T Bank, the Rotary Club of Lakewood, Casey's Heating, Kiwanis Club and the Fairmount House.