Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another Successful Meadows Celebration

Even the wet and chilly weather couldn't dampen the spirits of the attendees at the Fifth Annual Meadows Celebration: A Blast in the Moonlight. The event, which took place Friday, July 17, offered free fun for the entire family. This year's celebration brought back some all-time favorite activities, as well as brand new events and attractions.

One of the highlights of the event, as in previous years, was the Jeff Baumann Cardboard Canoe Race. The 2009 race was the most successful ever, with nine teams participating. The competitors had 40 minutes to build their watercraft while sheltering their cardboard from the pouring rain. Brave spectators cheered them on as they built and launched the fleet in timed heats.

Some of the boats took to the water skillfully and held up for the entire race. Others sank quickly and were abandoned by their paddlers. The ingenuity and creativity of the participants certainly made the watercraft an amusing sight to behold as they raced across the pond. The S.S. Guppy team, the winning team from 2007, brought home a repeat victory.

The Guitar Hero Tournament attracted the under 18 crowd. Participants had the chance to test their skill in a qualifying round and single-elimination tournament. Others just played for fun during the open play period. Local celebrity DJ Mojo was on hand to emcee the tournament and present the winners with their prizes.

The Rise Above BMX Stunt Show was a true crowd pleaser. Oohs and aahs could be heard echoing through Granger Meadows Park as the riders flipped, turned and soared high above ramps. Audience members were invited to join the show by acting as a prop. The crowd breathed a collective sigh of relief as a rider cleared the jump over the volunteers with room to spare.

For the little ones, Apples the Clown was present to delight youngsters with balloon shapes. Face painting, candy bar bingo and library story time were ever-popular returning favorites. The inflatables, as always, were popular attractions. This year kids could joust, fly down the inflatable slide, try out the inflatable obstacle course or bounce inside Thomas the Tank Engine.

Another new attraction was SierraRose Farms Miniature Horses. Youngsters had the chance to get up close and personal with these gentle animals. Learning opportunities abounded, with informational booths for 911 and the MSU Cyclotron, as well as fire extinguisher training and the Sparrow Life Net Helicopter. The DeWitt Township Fire Department showed their skill by staging a vehicle extrication demonstration.

For those with a competitive spirit, there were plenty of opportunities, including the Family Dodgeball Tournament, Pie Baking Contest and Watermelon Eating Contest.

The evening wound to a close at the sledding hill in the West Park as cloudy skies began to clear. Entertainment was provided by local band Sea Cruisers. Glow necklaces illuminated the hill as the band belted out familiar oldies tunes. During the band's break, kids were treated to the fun-filled Super Ball Drop. Excited participants scrambled around the inline skating rink, scooping up the bouncing balls. The finale to the event was a fabulous fireworks display.

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the Fifth Annual Meadows Celebration, including the sponsors and volunteers. And thanks to all of you who braved the weather to take part in this outstanding community event.

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