By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – If smiles serve as an indication of success, the Recreation Department’s first Fall Family Festival, held Nov. 12 at Young Patriot’s Park, could become an annual tradition.
Pumpkins predominated, and children decorated them with markers inside the Community Center, and families played tic tac toe and lawn bowling with them outside. Cornhole games and hayrides added to the fun for all ages.
Cecilia Alderman, 5, of Riverview, used markers to decorate a pumpkin with feline features, a tribute to her two pet cats. Both she and her sister, Isabel, 9, said spending time with their grandparents, Sharon and Garry Alderman of Trenton, was the best part of the part of the afternoon.
Sharon Alderman agreed with her granddaughters, who moved to Riverview last year.
“It’s a very nice thing that they have here,” she said.
Steve Steffey, who brought his four sons, said it is good family time, and lets them experience seasonal activities.
“It gets them out of the house, gets them away from the video games,” he said. “They really enjoy it. I enjoy it, too.
“It gives you some good quality time together, and I think it’s great. People want to do stuff like this, and they don’t want to travel far to do it.”
Mayor Andrew Swift, who attended with his wife, children and grandchildren, said the Fall Family Festival was a first for the city.
“The turnout is better than expected,” he said. “We’re impressed. This is kind of a test, and I think it’s successful.”
Riverview Human Resources Director Carol Mayerich, who attended with her daughter and granddaughter, agreed that the festival had a nice turnout.
“Riverview always puts families first,” she said. “It’s a great event, and I hope that they decide to continue it.”
Mayerich said children and parents were enjoying the family focused activities.
“This time of year people are looking for things to do with their families,” she said, “and this is just something for anybody to come out and spend the day here.”
Her daughter, Megan Green of Adrian, said it is fun to come home and spend time with her mother, and to see the community come together for the first Fall Family Festival.
“It was very enjoyable,” she said. “It is a lot of fun to be back.”
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected].)