By Rick Palsgrove
Two traditional children’s events in Groveport are combining into one this year.
The “Groveport Cops n’ KidsFest and Back to School Expo” will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 17 at Groveport KidSpace, 630 Wirt Road.
“After existing as separate events for more than 10 years, the city of Groveport’s ‘Cops ‘n Kids’ and ‘Kids Fest & Back to School Expo’ have come together in an all new event this year, ‘Cops ‘n KidsFest,’” said Chelle Coleman, Groveport administrative assistant and special events coordinator. “The target audience for both of these events was children so it made sense to pool resources to make the event even more successful.”
The event, an end-of-summer festival, is free and geared to kids ages 5 to 12.
“KidsFest is always one of our most popular events,” said Linda Haley, Groveport community affairs director. “This year partnering with the police offers an even better experience for kids and their parents.”
The event includes carnival activities food vendors, police cruiser cruise-in, bicycle “Safetyville,” a dunk tank operated by the Center for Groveport Madison Human Needs, and back to school information and services for parents. Kids can enter to win a new bicycle and helmet at Safetyville.
Groveport Police Sgt. Josh Short said Cops ‘n Kids originally started years ago as a bike rodeo in the parking lot at Glendening Elementary. It moved to Heritage Park for a couple of years before switching to Groveport Park for the last few years until this year’s move to KidSpace.
“The event allows kids to interact with officers in a fun and relaxed environment,” said Short. “Officers are able to express their true personalities with the kids while talking about police work and demonstrating our vehicles and equipment.”
Short said Cops ‘n Kids would not be possible without the support from the residents of Groveport and the surrounding community.
“Their continued participation and the fact they bring their children to interact with us is humbling and gives the officers a true sense of appreciation,” said Short.
Featured presenters at the event include: Groveport Police, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Play It Again Sports, YMCA, First Service Federal Credit Union, Groveport Recreation Center, Metro Parks, Southeast Metropolitan Library, Petermann Bus Company, Madison Township police and fire, Garrison Dental Care, David Lutheran Preschool, Groveport Spirit Wear, Happy Family Brand Foods, OSU Salon Schools, Franklin County Help Me Grow, Franklin County Sheriff, Groveport Community School, Grow With Me Preschool, Capital City Gymnastics and DJ Services by Sonic Sounds.