PARKERSBURG - Despite temperatures reaching near 100 degrees, the annual Kid's Fest in Parkersburg City Park attracted a large crowd.
Nancy Harrell, one of the organizers, said the festival had 1,550 children in attendance, without even counting the parents.
"If we counted the parents we would have had about 3,000 to 4,000 here," she said.
JEFFREY SAULTON Special to the Times
Hayden McGary, right, gets help from Roger Westbrook, left, in shooting a large ball from a sling.
Harrell said the mission of the Kid's Fest is for a number of churches to share their faith.
"We want to share Jesus in a new and exciting way with children and their families," she said.
Harrell said the festival was started by Liberty Street Church of God a decade ago and over the years they have been joined by 19th Street Church of God, Baptist Temple and Bethel A.M.E. Church.
Saturday's event at City Park included inflatable games, carnival games, bottle rockets and a dunking booth along with free food.
"All of the food is free," Harrell said. "Most of the food has come from churches and we've had a lot of funding from car dealerships around the area.
"This year because of the heat another church donated fans and a car dealership gave us the cooling fans and all the drinks were donated too."
Several prizes, including two iPads, were given away in a drawing that every child was registered to win. Harrell added the contributor of the iPads is anonymous.
Amanda Eagle, of Walker, said she and her family were attending for the first time on Saturday.
"We've been really impressed by all the things they are offering for free," she said. "It is amazing the amount of volunteers who have come together to make it happen and the money they have had to invest to do this and what they are doing to keep everybody cool."
Eagle said her daughter enjoyed the face painting and her son like the Jump House and the slides.
Tabitha Murphy said she was impressed there was no charge for anything at the festival.
"I think this is awesome they do this for the kids and it's free," she said. "I think it's very cool of them."
She said her son enjoyed the golf and dunking booth.