UNION — Despite rainy weather, nearly 500 children participated in Saturday’s J.A.K.E.S. Public Safety/Fun Day on Saturday.
The annual J.A.K.E.S. (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) Public Safety/Fun Day was hosted at Foster Park on Saturday, after the lake had been stocked with 2,400 pounds of catfish.
“It went really well,” said Jessica Gallman of Union County Parks and Recreation. “It rained almost the entire time, but the kids really enjoyed it.”
Gallman said a total of 471 children were registered during Saturday’s event.
Union County Recreation Director Becky Cobb said the event continues to grow each year. The event is a joint effort on the parts of Union County Parks and Recreation, City of Union Public Safety, the Piedmont Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the U.S. Forest Service, and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Attractions included fire trucks, police vehicles, a Smoke House, a rock wall and a DNR “Take One, Make One” fishing simulator, a Union County 4-H BB gun station, a camouflage station and a reptile exhibit — conducted by Stuart Jones — provided by the Piedmont Chapter of the NWTF.
“This is probably the only time some of these kids will get to fish, shoot a BB gun, shoot a bow and arrow and be in the outdoors,” said Steve Cobb of both the U.S. Forest Service and the Piedmont Chapter of the NWTF.
Children’s names were drawn throughout the day to receive prizes provided by DNR, which received considerable discounts from Academy Sports and Outdoors.