Spring Out to Sunset perfect for the whole family

Written by Matt Pera. Posted in Community News, Dining & Entertainment, Featured

Published on May 15, 2012 with No Comments

May 19th marks National Kids to Parks Day Festival

Spring is a busy time of year at Porter County Parks and Recreation. The weather warms up, people start venturing outside, and Spring Out to Sunset comes to Sunset Hill Farm County Park.

The festival takes place on May 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The date marks National Kids to Parks Day, adding to the incentive for families to get outside and get active. As is the case every year, families are also encouraged to bring their leashed dogs, and can fly kites at the park throughout the day.

Marie Foster, Marketing and Events Coordinator for Porter County Parks and Recreation, said Spring Out to Sunset has added a variety of new events this year, while also keeping old favorites.

“We are focused on giving the community the best and most affordable festivals in Northwest Indiana, and Spring Out to Sunset is a great example,” she said. “Our staff has been working very hard to put together a festival that offers something for everyone. And admission is just $5 per car. It’s hard to find a better value.”

A talented team of Frisbee dogs that has appeared before crowds during NBA and NFL halftime shows is set to perform, and their trainers will work with anyone who wants to receive tips for training their own dogs. People are also invited to enter their dogs in a local championship Frisbee contest. Owners must present their dog’s health certificate and female dogs in season may not participate.  Registration is at 10 a.m. and the contest begins at 10:30 a.m.

The 180GO! Stunt Kite Team has been a favorite at Spring Out to Sunset for the past several years and will be back this year. Their aerial maneuvers always draw a crowd and they will be performing and offering demonstrations throughout the day.

“We want to make sure people know that, once they enter the festival, all of the amazing activities and events inside are free,” Foster said. “The $5 admission gets them access to everything offered at Spring Out to Sunset.”

Several community organizations are partnering with Porter County Parks and Recreation to offer free events and activities at the festival.

The high school acting class from the Chicago Street Theatre Children’s Theatre Works program will perform “Hamelot.” The free play will take place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Kids will get the chance to sing, try instruments and watch performances with experienced teachers from Valpo’s Front Porch Music. Demonstrations with guitars and percussion instruments, sing-a-longs and educational workshops will take place throughout the day.

Anyone who attends Spring Out will also be welcome to contribute to a community mosaic using family pictures, buttons, shells or any other item. People are welcome to bring photos or other items from home.

Families will be invited to plant vegetables in a Community Garden that is sustained completely by the public as well. Northwest Indiana Grow facilitates the garden and will be handing out seeds and plants during the festival. Third Coast Spice, of Chesterton, will host cooking demonstrations with local chef, David Wodrich, who will have a variety of cold pastas, roasted balsamic tomatoes and different ingredients that make pastas special.

Reins of Life, an organization from Michigan City, will give kids the opportunity to groom, pet, and interact with a miniature horse. Positive Experience Dog Training School will feature training demos and agility equipment for people to let their dogs try it out throughout the day as well. Good Time Cloggers will perform and hold classes.

Porter County Parks and Recreation staff will offer traditional outdoor play options like hopscotch, tic-tac-toe and four square in a family fitness area. Valpo ATA will also be in this area, offering a wide variety of demonstrations, including self-defense and bully prevention, a martial arts weapons demonstration and a board-breaking demonstration.

Parks staff will also provide wagons to the top of Sunset Hill, where an interpreter will meet each group and take them on a 15-minute hike.  The group will then have an option to walk back to the festival or they may take the wagon ride back down.

“It’s incredibly exciting to think about what is in store for people who come to Spring Out to Sunset,” Foster said. “There are so many fun things to do, and our activities cover such a wide range of age groups and interests, that everyone is going to leave satisfied.”

For more information on Spring Out or any of our events or programs, call 219-465-3586 or visit www.portercountyparks.org. A complete schedule of events and a map of the festival is available on the Web site.

About Porter County Parks and Recreation The mission of the Porter County Parks and Recreation Board and Department is to preserve, protect and manage the natural, cultural and recreational resources within a diverse park system. For more information, call 219-465-3586, or e-mail pcparks@porterco.org.

Spring Out to Sunset will take place May 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sunset Hill Farm County Park. The event offers a wide variety of activities for people of all ages, including Frisbee dogs, kites, theatre, music, art and more.

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About Matt Pera


All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Matt Pera is the communications director for Porter County Parks and Recreation. He has a background in journalism and public relations. For more information about Porter County Parks and Recreation, call 219-465-3586, or e-mail pcparks@porterco.org.

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