LOGAN — The Early Childhood Department of the Hocking County Board of Developmental Disabilities is preparing for Kidpalooza 2021.

Last year’s Kidpalooza was canceled due to the coronavirus, Misty Tigner, Hocking County Help Me Grow home visiting supervisor, said. However, this year’s incarnation is going to continue on — drive-thru style.

“This year, we are determined to have it again,” Tigner said. “We want it to be something fun for families to come through.”

Kidpalooza 2021 will be a drive-thru event at the Hocking County Fairgrounds, at 150 North Homer Avenue, on Thursday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tigner hopes the event will take about half an hour to drive through. As always, the event will be “fun and free,” she said.

These accommodations for the event seemed like the safest option during the pandemic, Tigner said. The fairgrounds were chosen as it appeared to be the best place to have a drive-thru event.

“We’re hoping to still provide... a great event, but it is going to look different,” Tigner said. “Families will stay in cars, (with0 people putting the event on out of cars, handing things to children. (There will also be) fun things to look at, music playing while waiting in line to get ready.”

Families will participate from their vehicles, Tigner said. Volunteers will wear masks as families pull through; they will also distribute take-home activities, such as crafts. Masks will not be required for those in vehicles, Tigner said.

“So far, I’ve heard we’re doing stuff for (handprint painting), some sand art crafts and clothes-pin butterflies,” Tigner said.

Volunteers will also be dressed up as characters and mascots, such as Mama Llama. Kona Ice will also be present, Tigner added. Kidpalooza is aimed at children who are under school-age.

“Originally, (Kidpalooza) was held in March as part of the Week of the Young Child to help spread word about early childhood programs,” Tigner said.

Kidpalooza is held from the morning to the afternoon on the second Thursday of May so families can bring their under school-age children while older children are in school, Tigner said.

Kidpalooza draws 400 to 500 children each year, Tigner said. As Kidpalooza has grown in its 22 years, 50 to 55 local businesses now on average help sponsor the event.

Currently, planning for Kidpalooza is still in the works, and the event is still accepting sponsors. Those interested can contact Tigner by phone at 740-380-1315 ext. 247 or by email at MTigner@HockingDD.org. Outdoor booth space reservation is $20, but door prize donations and monetary contributions are accepted, too.

“The whole reason we do (Kidpalooza) is to provide the community with resources about what’s available to them,” Tigner said.

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