By: Deanna Corarito, KCA Director
As you all know, Family Fun Day was at risk of not happening this year because of the scheduled park renovations. Because of a last-minute delay of the construction at the park, Family Fun Day was given a reprieve and went on as scheduled!
The festivities opened with the Gaither High School JROTC Color Guard performing the opening ceremony and the National Anthem sung by Milly Music’s Dunia Vega, and was com
pleted with the fly-over and landing of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office helicopter right onto the field of Keystone Park.
The day was emceed by Master of Ceremonies Andy Warrener, who always does a superb job for the event, and it was filled with pumpkin painting, rock painting, storytelling, hay rides, HCSO Motorcycles and Squad cars, HCSO Mounted Police and even the SWAT Team! Hillsborough County Fire and Rescue was present with Touch A Truck, Hillsborough County Parks provided a Bounce House and kids could even paint a white horse and pet a goat!
The Fern Garden Club had their annual Pot a Plant for kids outside, as well as their Plant Sale and Bake Sale inside the park building, which was where many attendees sought refuge from the occasional afternoon rain shower. Our own County Commissioner Sandra Murman attended to call the potato sack races again this year to the crowd’s delight, and Sheriff Chad Chronister stopped in to say hello to Keystone. There was a voter registration booth for those “older kids” present.
Several Classic Cars were in attendance and is always a crowd pleaser. Quilted placemats were provided for kids to decorate, ceramics to paint, free popcorn for the hungry crowd and this year we had a Dunk Tank, which was donated by Bru Florida Growler Bar. There was a long line of students who paid $5 for the chance to dunk Principal Heather Holloway of Walker Middle School!
Music on our Family Fun Day stage included Maryn Robby as a solo artist with her guitar, Pan Caliente Latin Ensemble and contemporary rock provided by Big Picture.
We expanded food this year to include Food Trucks and we had Sweet Southern Heat BBQ and Bahama Bucks shaved ice. New Generation Church was back with their Fire Roasted Corn and even added Beef Empanadas, the American Legion sold Sloppy Joes and the Sons of American Legion sold hot dogs. All are part of the Keystone Community.
We had a number of student volunteers from Sickles High School’s National Honor Society, Steinbrenner High School, Gaither High School’s JROTC, as well as the Tampa Police Explorers who did an outstanding job with parking for the entire day. The American Legion was present and provided the American Flag disposal Ceremony. The Sons of American Legion helped us out by cooking the hot dog lunches we provided to all of our student volunteers.
Thank you to Hillsborough County Parks and Program Supervisor Joe Monroe, who are tremendous partners of the KCA for Family Fun Day! It was a great day for all who attended, even during the afternoon rain shower, a few kids found joy in the rain puddles!
We hope to see y’all at next year’s Family Fun Day!