Sasebo families brave heat for KidsDay celebration
August 8, 2005
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Kids appeared to be having a blast at the 2005 National KidsDay celebration here Saturday afternoon, but the infamous Sasebo heat and humidity had many of them — and their parents — also searching for a cool splash.
Chief Petty Office Victor Gonzales, his daughter, Maggie, 16, and son, Noah, 4, hovered close to the water-related games spread around the Hario Housing Village ball field.
“It’s definitely hot out here but we’re grateful for clouds moving in from time to time, giving us a little shade,” said Gonzales, sweat dripping from his brow.
“This is definitely designed for the younger crowd,” he added. “It’s also all free, making for good, free family fun.”
Sasebo’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation department and its Child Development, Pre-teen and Teen centers coordinated the Hario celebration. Allison Foo, MWR’s marketing director, estimated more than 250 people attended the outdoor event.
Justin Hill, 12, and Tonya Drummond, 10, played hard at virtually all the activity stations. Taking a break in front of a water-cooled fan used to blow a revitalizing mist, the sweat-soaked duo talked about favorite events.
“I’ve tried just about all the games but my favorites were those taking place over there,” Justin said, gesturing toward a booth in a corner of the field. “Especially the three-legged sack race.”
He said he also enjoyed games requiring accurate throws to hit various objects with a softball or baseball. “And the dunking tank,” he added. “Now that was cool.”
“I had the most fun at the cakewalk,” Tonya said. “And they weren’t just giving away cakes as prizes either. They had good stuff too, like cookies and brownies.”
KidsDay was launched in 2001 to foster stronger relationships between adults and children. Organizers say they want federal officials to add the day to national calendars by 2006, according to www.kidsday.net. Thirty state governors had signed proclamations declaring KidsDay in their states as of 2004.