El Centro Hosts Children’s Fair Annual Event Draws Attention To Child Abuse In County

El Centro Hosts Children’s Fair

Annual Event Draws Attention To Child Abuse In County

BY CHRIS FURGUSON

For the 38th year, El Centro’s Bucklin Park was the setting for the Imperial Valley Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Council’s annual Children’s Fair on Saturday, April 1, 2017.

“Look at the costumes,” exclaimed more than one kid during the morning of the event as several cosplayers and mascots arrived early in the day.

Highlights this year included a mascot parade in the morning featuring costumes and cosplays from several organizations, including a pair of mascot party companies. Several concerts, performances by youth groups, and mid-day performances by a local professional wrestling group also kept the crowds entertained.

The main purpose of the Children’s Fair in El Centro is to draw parents and families and help them find and acquire some of the available resources to strengthen their connections. The CAP Council provides free year-round bilingual parenting classes and teen counseling among other services.

ICOE’s booth contained lessons on growing plants (with free samples) and other educational materials.

Around 75 booths from various groups, organizations, clubs, service groups, and vendors around Imperial County joined in the annual celebration at the park.
“We’re all here to spread the word that Imperial County cares about our kids,” said Yvette Garcia, the Executive Director of the CAP Council.

To help pay for their expenses, the CAP Council sold shirts, corndogs, carne asada burritos and other treats along with providing information about their services.
Additionally, the Imperial County Office of Education, who helps organize the annual Fair, provided free educational materials on the eastern end of the park. Their booths included ones on gardening that gave away free plants to kids along with an activity center for the younger ones.

One of the early entertainers was the Imperial Valley Flipz cheerleader and gymnastics group.

Among the other booths were El Centro’s Kiwanis Club providing free books to children.

“We want to make parents and the county aware about how to be more aware about childe abuse and prevent child abuse,” added Garcia. “These kids are our future leaders and we want to protect them.”

More information about the CAP Council can be found on their facebook page or by calling (760) 353-8300.