Today’s news:

Family Fun Day on July 10

Family Fun Day is once again coming to The Playground for All Children in Pelham Bay Park. This year’s annual event looks to build on the success of last year’s extravaganza for kids and their families, which drew over 1,000 people.

Hosted by the Westchester Square-Zerega Improvement Organization and the city Parks Department, Family Fun Day, an annual event since the early 1990s, will be held on Saturday, July 10 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Playground for All Children. The playground is located near Middletown Road and Bruckner Boulevard, near the running track and bocce courts in the park.

Among this year’s highlights will be a performance between noon and 1 p.m. by John Turdo of Simply Magic, a singalong with Kevin Kane of Kanesongs from 1:30 to 2 p.m., and a Punch and Judy Puppet Theater from traditional puppeteer Fred Greenspan from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

“Last year was a huge success,” said event organizer Sandi Lusk of WSZIO. “This is our gift to the kids. We have no budget to do this. The funding comes from the Parks Department and the money Woody Brundage and I raise for the Westchester Square-Zerega Improvement Organization.”

There will be face-painting, arts and crafts, games, horses, and a touch tank from the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. Urban Park Rangers will also be on hand. Among staples of the event like face-painting, Lusk said tentatively that the Bronx Council on the Arts may also be sending someone to show children how to bead, and Center Stage Playhouse may give a performance. She is still working out those details.

Lusk said that the reason she thinks Family Fun Day has become an anticipated event is that the focus is squarely on the kids. Family Fun Day is free and open to anyone who wishes to attend.

“We are not trying to teach these kids anything,” Lusk said. “We just give the kids some motivation and materials and then have them take it from there.”

Lusk said that the Family Fun Day traces its origins to National Night Out. The kids were having a great time with many of the activities at the event which draws the community closer together with law enforcement, but needed something specifically for them. Family Fun Day was first held in 1992.

“We approached a Parks Department administrator and said, Let’s just have a fun day for the kids,” Lusk said. “The event was originally held in the fall, and has moved around the calender over the years. I think we have found a great time to have it.”

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