The 2017 Kids Appreciation Day on May 25 will feature prizes, entertainment, food and games at Seminole City Park. Hank Scheuster, 6, participated in last year’s watermelon eating contest as his cousins Maiya Muller and Layla Muller look on.
SEMINOLE – With the end of the school year just weeks away, the Seminole Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its summer kick-off celebration, Kids Appreciation Day.
This year it will take place on the last day of school, Thursday, May 25, 3 to 5 p.m., at Seminole City Park, 7464 Ridge Road.
The annual event, now in its 38th year, features games and other activities for children, food, entertainment, and prizes. While the chamber will have a dozen bikes to give away during the event, the emphasis is on every child attending having a good time as they celebrate the start of summer vacation, said Donna Miller, the chamber’s administrative assistant.
“It’s just a good old-fashioned, down home venue to celebrate the summer for elementary age kids,” Miller said. “Kids who may be our future. They’re the future of Seminole. So it’s a great last day of school party for our kids.”
Gretchen Cain Wells, chamber COO, said the chamber wants the event “to be a party everybody can enjoy. We want to spread the love instead of focusing on giving away prizes. We think of it more like a kids birthday part. We have food; we have games; and we have fun. We want every kid to have a good time.”
The event is co-sponsored by the city of Seminole.
“We get a lot of help from the recreation center and Becky [Gunter, recreation director] and Public Works,” she said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”
With the presence of civic organizations, business and city leaders, as well as Seminole Fire Rescue and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department, the event is also a chance “to focus on summer integrity,” Miller added.
Without the support of these organizations, the event wouldn’t have grown into what it is today, she said.
“It’s just a wonderful turnout of community and civic groups,” Miller said.
Wells said many of these organizations have assisted with the event for a number of years.
The Rotary Club of Seminole will once again sponsor its watermelon-eating contest. The Kiwanis Club of Seminole sponsors the hot dog stand while the Kiwanis Club of Seminole Breakfast will assist with serving the free food. The Seminole Junior Woman’s Club will help hand out wristbands to attendees. Graduates of the city’s Community Emergency Response Team will assist with parking and traffic management. The Repetto family has offered the use of a nearby lot to handle overflow parking. The Seminole Lake Rotary Club will also assist during the celebration.
Local businesses are also involved in the event. Chase Bank, which will open soon at the new Seminole City Center, is sponsoring a fish pond game where children can win small prizes. McDonald’s is providing the beverages while Dairy Queen will provide the hot dogs and buns.
Entertainment will include a DJ, a magic show and balloon animals. Dr. Stephen Nickse will serve as emcee for the event.
The PCSO will bring its Peacekeeper vehicles to the event, while Seminole Fire Rescue will set up one of its fire trucks and Sparky the fire dog. Children will be able to touch and sit inside both vehicles.
“There’s a lot going on even though the event is only two hours,” Wells said.
Miller said the chamber is still accepting donations to help offset the cost of the event.
Checks can be made payable to the Seminole Chamber of Commerce and mailed to 7985 113th St. N., Suite 208, Seminole, FL 33772. Indicate Kids Appreciation in the memo line.
For more information, call the chamber at 727-392-3245.