Fair offers fire safety for kidsPublished 8:26pm Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Beginning in mid-June until October, Neal Smyder travels the country entertaining kids and teaching them valuable lessons.
During his second visit to the Cass County Fair, Smyder performed a show with children volunteers, having fun while instructing the audience what to do in case of a fire. Smyder, who is originally from Orlando, Fla., travels from fair to fair throughout the summer.
“I do this for a living,” Smyder said. “There’s a new town every week.”
Smyder, who performs three shows a day during the fair, gets the kids involved. After donning jackets and hats, the volunteers take part in activities, such as putting out pretend fires and polishing the small firetruck.
The two main points Smyder stresses during his shows are what sticks once the audience leaves.
“They are, ‘Don’t hide, get outside,’ and ‘Crawl low under the smoke,’” Smyder said. “It’s kids entertainment, but we also want them to walk away with something important.”
Two teams of two were cheered on by Tuesday afternoon’s audience. By the end of the show, whatever portion of the crowd didn’t cheer loud enough was sprayed from the water tower hose by the winning team.
“That’s the fun part for them,” Smyder said.
Though he spends the majority of his summers away from home, Smyder said his favorite part about his job is interacting with the kids and teaching them something in a fun way.
“I love the kids; they usually have the most fun,” Smyder said. “Here in Cass County, with so many volunteer firefighters, some kids may have Mom or Dad who volunteer and they get to see what they do.”
Smyder’s show, located directly to the left past the entrance to the fairgrounds, takes place at 2:30, 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. each day.
Tags: Cass County Fair