HALSTEAD — The event that drew 500 people in its first year is returning to Halstead with even more activities for its second year.
"A Small Town Family Fun Night" will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. April 13 at Halstead Middle School, 221 W. Sixth St.
The event is free and features something for the whole family.
"Everything is hands-on for the parents and the kids," noted organizer Mary Wilson. "Everybody's welcome; this is not just for Halstead."
For animal lovers, Sedgwick County Zoo will have some small animals on display and Caring Hands Humane Society will bring kittens for cuddling. A petting zoo is also planned.
Science fans can visit booths with fossils, items from the Kansas Learning Center for Health and astronomers from Lake Afton Observatory. Hutchinson Community College's biology club will also be making slime for visitors and an all-girl robotics group from Wichita will be doing demonstrations.
A Lego challenge will be open for children, with judging starting at 7:30 p.m.
More than 15 different vehicles are scheduled for the "Touch a Truck" portion of the evening, including Harvey County Sheriff's Office vehicles, Halstead Fire/EMS vehicles, ATVs, semis, tractors and the Dragon Wagon.
"The kids can climb on them and in them and ask questions," Wilson said.
At 6 p.m., the Harvey County Sheriff's Office will present an indoor demonstration of its search drone.
Harvey County Parks rangers will be on hand to teach children the art of fishing rod casting.
A woodworking station hosted by Sunflower Woodworker's Guild will also be set up.
If you or your child are drawn to music, the Hutchinson Community College band will be on hand to allow participants to try out instruments or you can choose a song to belt out at karaoke.
The Halstead High School art class will provide face painting, and a bouncy obstacle course and barrel train will also be available for children.
Free books will be handed out to children.
Attendees can also check out food trucks in the parking lot, including Twisted Joes On The Go, Espresso Yourself Coffee, Brown Box Bakery, CJ’s Sno Cones and KJ's Street Cafe.
A bake sale and cake walk will also be held.
A silent auction will feature items like a set of tires or oil changes from Mel Hambleton Ford, two tickets to Kansas Star Casino for any event with supper, two tickets to Silver Dollar City, Halstead Dragons items, restaurant gift cards, a year-long family membership to the YMCA, a season camping pass to Harvey County parks, Wichita Symphony tickets, local artist paintings and gift baskets with Mary Kay items, essential oils or hair products from several salons.
"Right now, I have more than $3,000 worth of items donated," Wilson said.
The bidding concludes at 7:40 p.m. and winners do not need to be present to win.
"A Small Town Family Fun Night" is a fundraiser for the Halstead Dragon Kids after school program, which is directed by Wilson.
Dragon Kids is a year-round after school program for children in kindergarten through sixth grade.
Funds raised at the April 13 event go to pay for program employees' wages as well as food, supplies and field trips for the students.
"The cost of a bus and fuel and admission fees ... this helps cover that cost, too," Wilson said.
Dragon Kids is in its eighth year of operation.
"I offer a safe, fun place for kids to come and do their homework after school until their parents come home," Wilson said.