BELMONT-When school let out for summer, Union Local staff and administrators began planning this year's free "Back to School Fair" for Tuesday, August 14 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. For Union Local students and families, kids' activities will include face painting, petting zoo, an official sanctioned Punt, Pass & Kick competition, inflatable rides and more. Adults can pick up information on the coming year's school activities, visit the health fair and check out the car cruise.
According to Superintendent H. Kirk Glasgow, feedback from last year's event was very positive, and more than 1,000 students and family members attended. "We do this for a couple of reasons," says Glasgow. "It gets everyone together to catch up on the summer and get ready for school, and we can distribute free school supplies to our students. It also showcases services in the area that people might not know about."
One of the new events, to be held at the elementary school parking lots, is the Union Local Cruise-In open to all makes and models of cars, trucks and motorcycles and no registration fees. A benefit test drive will be sponsored by Thomas Chrysler Dodge Jeep. For each test drive of a new Dodge vehicle, the school will receive $20.
Students can participate in a scavenger hunt along the Nature Trail, and kindergarteners through fifth graders can enter the "Young Track Stars" competition. There will be an alumni softball game and corn hole tournament, both beginning at 6 p.m.
Everyone can visit vendor tables for health screenings, information on colleges, nutrition, safety, local organizations, stores and services.
Union Local will have info tables on school food service, busing, the Title I program, 21st Century Community Learning Center, school clubs and parent organizations.
The health fair will be held in the middle school cafeteria, and all other events and vendors will be set up throughout the campus area: the bus canopy, middle school courtyard and shelter, the Sally Bizzarri Shelter, the sports fields and area behind the high school. Jeff Roscoe will be demonstrating his chain saw sculpture techniques in the Butterfly Garden, and the marching band will play from their repertoire in the courtyard. In case of rain, booths and tables will be set up inside the middle and high schools.
Some of the participating vendors include JB Green Team, Staples, Crafts 2000, Preferred Meals, Real Life Church, the Belmont County Fair Board, Morristown Clinic and Pharmacy, Corner Fitness, Creative Learning Center, Buckshot Photography, Premier Bank and Trust, Fluharty Photography, Belmont College, Jack FM Radio, Flushing Alliance Church, Barnesville Surgery, Crossroads Counseling, Girl Scouts, Mid-Ohio Food Bank, American Heart Association, Barnesville Family Health Center, Belmont County AARP, MRDD, Ohio Valley Farmers Market, Eastern Ohio Diabetes Association, Wheeling Jesuit University, Ohio Valley Health Coach, Ohio University Eastern, Kirke's Homemade Ice Cream, Imperial Display, the United State Army, McDonald's and Mary Kay Cosmetics.
"We're fortunate," adds Glasgow. "We've had a lot of area companies step up and received a lot of community support."
Packages of school supplies will again be available from the Union Local Health Council, but this year parents will need to pick up claim tickets for each child at the "Start Here" table. There will be door prizes for all ages as well as a 50/50 drawing.
Vendor registration will be held from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. Sign-ups for all competitions will begin at 5:00 and end at 5:45 p.m. For more information on the "Back to School Fair" or to become a vendor contact Kirk Glasgow at (740) 782-1978.
Valenti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.