Spring Festival at Lanier


Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 2:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 2:40 p.m.

The Sidney Lanier Center will host its free Spring Festival with children’s activities and one-stop shopping for resources and services for families, especially for those families with children with special needs.

Facts

SPRING FESTIVAL

What: Spring Festival with children’s activities, food and local agencies.
When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Sidney Lanier Center, 312 NW 16th Ave.
Information: Call 352-334-1708.

And the community is invited.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the school at 312 NW 16th Ave.

Festival activities will include face painting, clowns, a carousel, mini horses, therapy dogs, arts and crafts and other activities.

Vendors represented will include Special Olympics of Florida, LifeSouth Blood Centers, Childhood Development Services, the Early Learning Coalitio of Alachua County, HealthStreet, and other agencies.

Vendors will be located in the gym, with food and activities in the cafeteria.

Vickie Griffin, family health partner at Children’s Medical Services, said everything will be free, including child care, to enable adults to take care of business. Children’s Medical Services is a program of the Florida Department of Health that provides care for children with special health care needs and their families.

“We’re bringing everything under one roof so that families can network with other families and get the resources and services they need,” said Griffin.

Dr. Barbara Henry, ESE supervisor of Alachua County Public Schools, said vision and hearing screenings will be new this year.

“The festival is an opportunity for children to interact with other children,” Henry said. “And there will be so much information available to the parents.”

Last year, more than 200 people attended the event.

Lake City resident Jennifer Conner, who attended last year’s festival, said the festival is empowering for parents because it provides opportunities to interact one-on-one with vendors and to learn about resources. She also enjoyed connecting with other parents.

Last year, Conner connected with members of the Special Olympics of Florida, and as a result, her son is now involved in Special Olympics.

“The festival is wonderful,” Conner said.

Griffin said the festival will be a community-building event.

“It provides an opportunity for parents to meet other parents and for children to meet other children,” Griffin said.

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