Fall Festival provides a little much-needed fun in a tough year

San Juan County Prevention Action Collaboration (SJCPAC) Coalition teamed up with the City of Blanding to help sponsor the Fall Festival in Blanding.

Prevention messaging was prevalent throughout many of the activities during this fun-filled event. With masks and hand sanitizer stations at the ready, precautions were in place for families to truly enjoy the day.

The “Touch A Truck” area was a way for kids to connect with local agencies and community partners as they looked at their big vehicles and received a prize.

A special incentive was having the kids look for a picture of a gold bug on each vehicle. If they found all the hidden bugs, they put their name in a drawing for a “Cars and Trucks and Things That Go” book by Richard Scarry.

Promoting early literacy is a big protective factor in reducing the risk of youth substance misuse.

Free popcorn was given out to families who could tell something that helped their family to bond and be close – another protective factor.

Tablecloths and packages of chit-chat cards from the Parents Empowered Against Underage Drinking campaign helped raise awareness of the importance of family mealtime.

Families that participated in the various games and activities were able to put their names in a drawing for family gift bags with games, treats, books, and more – all to promote and raise awareness of the importance of family bonding.

A pumpkin carving contest, hot dog eating contest, hole boards for pictures, and guessing the number of candies in jars around the park all added to the fun of the day.

There was an array of food vendors offering good things to eat.

Emma Holliday had a great lineup of local entertainment for folks to listen to throughout the afternoon.

Then, after a 5 p.m. drawing for prizes, the “Crazy Coyote” band from Orem, UT put on an amazing show, featuring a wide variety of good tunes, right up until a truly spectacular fireworks display.

Organizers wish to thank the San Juan County Youth Coalition rock star youth who stayed for many hours to help make the day a success. They include Adia Eberling, Shaylee McNiven, Shauna McNiven, Kamora Mitchell, Christian Palmer, Julie McFarland, Kaileb McNiven, and Kelsey Pugh.

Organizers also give a big thanks to the following folks who made the “Touch A Truck” area a big draw: Joe Hurst of Tri-Hurst Construction; John Laws with the Sheriff’s Office; Jared Hillhouse with the Blanding Police Department; Linda Simmons, Jennifer Lake, and Sage Benally with the San Juan County EMT squad; Holliday Construction; and Corey Spillman, Coleman Spillman, and Byron Clarke with the Blanding City Fire Department.

SJCPAC recently wrote for the E-Cigarette, Marijuana, and Other Drug Prevention Grant, distributed through San Juan County Public Health to help provide funding for this event, as well as several other events in the upcoming year, to raise protection against youth substance misuse.

Look for a fun upcoming activity in which elementary school age students throughout San Juan School District will have the opportunity to participate during Red Ribbon Week October 19-23.

San Juan Record

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