B'ville: A family afFAIR

Families looking for local activities for their children will be able to gather information on over 35 organizations this Saturday.

The Sixth Annual Baldwinsville Youth Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 29 in the Baker High School cafeteria. The fair is free and run jointly by the parks and recreation departments of the towns of Lysander and Van Buren.

At the fair, families can visit booths set up by organizations from Baldwinsville and around the county. Each booth will have a representative to answer questions and pass out information. Many of the organizations will also have a raffle or a craft for children.

Ann Smiley, director of Lysander Parks and Recreation, stressed the convenience of having these organizations all in one place.

"Parents can see what kinds of opportunities are available for their kids for the summer and school year," she said. "Even nicer is that they get to meet and talk with staff and pick up brochures."

Smiley said over 300 people attended last year's fair.

The organizations attending the fair appeal to all ages of children. They range from several pre-schools offering information on enrollment to activities for high school students, such as cheerleading and Onondaga County Youth Court. Other organizations, such as karate studios, offer programs for children of all ages.

Cathleen Perkins, director of Van Buren Parks and Recreation, said that the fair might be particularly beneficial to certain families in the Baldwinsville area.

"It's nice especially for somebody who just moved to the area, or for families with kids who are not quite pre-school age yet who haven't had any exposure to these activities," she said. "You might find an activity you wouldn't even think of."

Another aspect of the fair will be a used book sale. Books have been donated by the community and all proceeds will go to P.E.A.C.E. Inc. to create scholarships for summer camps. Perkins said that these scholarships will allow children who might not be able to otherwise afford camp to attend Lysander day camp, the Van Buren playground program or swimming lessons run by the town.

Entertainment at the fair will be provided in the forms of face painting, caricatures, a clown and a refreshment stand. Two New York State Troopers will also be on hand to give presentations with their K-9 partner police dogs at 10:30 a.m. and noon.

Anyone looking for more information on the Baldwinsville Youth Fair can contact the Lysander Parks and Recreation department at 635-5999 or the Van Buren Parks and Recreation department at 638-4727. A list of many of the organizations attending can be found online at townoflysander.org/parks_and_recreation_youth_fair.html.

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