Annual Youth Parade draws hundreds

Published 3:16 am Monday, September 24, 2007

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – The annual Apple Festival Youth Day was everything it was expected to be.
Hundreds were drawn out by perfect weather Saturday for a day of unforgettable free fun. The parade was the highlight of the day, as little ones dressed up in costumes, decked out red wagons in fall colors and even rode bikes with streamers flying in every direction. Candy was thrown, flyers for different businesses were passed out, and even a few four legged furry friends were seen dressed up in outfits.
After the parade, children and their parents were invited to the festival grounds, where free games, candy and food awaited.
"This is really awesome. I have a new respect for everyone involved with the Apple Festival. Usually, you have to spend over $50 just for your child to enjoy something like this. But this was all free. We will be back next year," Karen Singleton of South Bend, Ind. said. Singleton was on hand with her two children, Ashley and Austin, as well as three nephews. "The kids are having fun, I'm having fun, and they will leave here with free goodies. Great job to the Apple Festival."
Singleton said next weekend is her time without the kids as she will be returning to enjoy the actual festival on Saturday for the arts and crafts. Some of the activities at the fair grounds included finding pennies in a pool full or corn, a sucker tree, temporary tattoos, a magic show and the bean bag game. Lolli Estel, Associate for the Apple Festival, said Friday that this years Youth Day was expected to be the biggest one yet.
"It's everything a kid would want and it's free of charge. There's not too many other places you can find a day full of fun for absolutely free," Estel said.
The actual Apple Festival will kick off this Thursday. Judging of the window decorating contest will take place at 1 p.m., and carnival rides will be held from 3-10 p.m. Thursday is Wristband night, where carnival-goers have the opportunity to ride all of the rides for one price.