WORTHINGTON — Fun and games are in store for families on Saturday, Sept. 7 when the third annual Park Hop takes place.
As has been the case in previous years, five of Worthington 23 community parks are being showcased for the event, and planned activities are scheduled in each. There will be plenty to enjoy at this year’s Park Hop, explained Toni Brouillet, a realtor at Johnson Builders & Realty, an organizer and sponsor.
“We’ve hired Lighter Side Clowning, and they’re going to do face painting and balloon animals for us during lunchtime,” explained Brouillet, adding that Lighter Side features Wood Lake’s Sharla (Taarud) Bengston, formerly of Worthington, and Doug Bengtson. “We’re going to have a DJ at one of the parks — Brody Wright, of Wright Music and Entertainment. First State Bank Southwest is going to sponsor the DJ and the clowns.
“Tara Thompson at Community Education is going to do a photo booth and crafts at one of the parks,” Brouillet continued. “Again, we’ll have bubbles at one of the parks with Officer (Dan) Brouillet. Bedford Industries came up with the idea last year of a little snack break throughout the day, and they’re going to do donuts and juice at one of the parks. And Noon Kiwanis will be helping at one of the parks with races and other games.”
Due to ongoing construction at Centennial Park, this year’s lunchtime activities will take place at Chautauqua Park. A lunch of grilled hot dogs (courtesy of Worthington Optimist Club), chips, string cheese, freeze pops and water will be served.
“We’ll also have some great raffle prizes,” Brouillet noted of the drawings that will follow lunch. “I’d say one of our biggest donors for prizes has been the Optimist club.”
Donations for the Park Hop can be made up until Sept. 6, Brouillet said, and brought to Johnson Builders & Realty. Depending on the donations, event organizers may opt to add a new to-be-determined park feature at Centennial Park.
“It should be great,” Brouillet said. “I think in the past, we’ve had anywhere from 200 to 250 people that have participated. We always try to highlight different parks in town, but we also encourage anyone to go to any of the parks in town that they can.”
This year’s Park Hop checklist includes: Bristol Park, bubbles with the Worthington Police Department; Millard Walker Park, three-legged races, sac races and other games with Noon Kiwanis; Watland Park, chalk and snack break courtesy of Bedford Industries; Slater Park, photo booth and crafts with Community Education; and Intercity Park, music with DJ Brody Wright.
Participants may meet from 9 to 9:30 a.m. at Chautauqua Park for instructions and sendoff, and park hopping is from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants must visit all five parks to be registered for the drawing.
Lunch will be from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. at the Chautauqua Park shelter, and raffle drawings are scheduled for 1:15 p.m.
Additional sponsors of the event include Sanford Worthington, Fareway, Culligan and Ocheda Dairy.