Kids experience fun, activities at castle

Luis Martinez, Entertainment Editor

Mia Lara, 2 said, she had a lot of fun at the castle and her favorite part was getting a sucker from one of the booths.

Mia, who is a Charleston resident, enjoyed hanging out with Billy the Panther and meeting a bunch of characters during the second annual Kid’s day at the Castle.

Families from the Charleston community all came out to the different vendors and activities offered during the event sponsored by WEIU, at Old Main.

Ashley Lara, Mia’s mother, recently moved from Dayton, Ohio to Charleston, along with her other daughter, 3-month-old, Lilly. Ashley Lara thought the event was a good way to see what the community has to offer.

“It was a good way to find out what resources there are for kids in the area,” Ashley Lara said. “We’re new to this area, so they had a lot of booths that like helped us find out what to do with kids around the town.

Ke’an Armstrong, a publicity-promotion specialist for WEIU said, the event was previously held in past years in Kiwanis Park, and this was the second year the event was held on Eastern’s campus.

“This is more of a community event with the university and this was a great place to have it,” Armstrong said. “Attendance doubled once we’d moved it up to the Old Main front lawn.”

Lucas and Emily Quast, along with their daughter Maggie, said they thought the event was great for the families in attendance.

“It was great, (Maggie) loved it, and she’s not even two yet,” Emily Quast said. “I saw other people that were like seven and eight that were really enjoying the event too so I think it was good for all age ranges.”

Emily Quast said they managed to participate in almost all of the activities provided at the event.

“(Maggie) loved petting the animals that were there and getting on the school bus, I don’t think there was anything she didn’t like,” Emily Quast said. “She was a little scared of Billy the Panther, she hugged my leg, but Billy was really nice.”

Armstrong said there were at least 25 different vendors at the event, ranging from shooting rockets with the Cub Scouts all the way to singing karaoke.

“Every booth, every vendor is actively engaging children, so they have something to provide an education experience or a learning experience, or something to interact with the kids at their booth,” Armstrong said.

Nikki Davidson and Christopher Denbow also said the event was great for kids, but no so much for infants.

“It’s highly organized and I appreciate all the different tents and all things that are offered,” Davidson said. “We brought an infant so there wasn’t as much for us to do, but I can see all the older kids are enjoying themselves and there is quite a bit to do.”

However, Davidson said it would be nice if the event included options for infants.

“Pretty much the only thing we could do is take pictures with Billy the Panther,” Davidson said.

President David Glassman was also present during the event, interacting with not only the families, but the student volunteers as well.

“We love to have the community come up to our campus and join with us in all the different activities we have, whether it be athletic activities or theatre or music or art,” Glassman said. “ It’s a great number of kids here and we love to have the members of Charleston and Mattoon and the rest of the region come on up to campus and share with us some fun.”


Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 of [email protected].