KEARNEY — The annual fall Kids Fest returned to Jesse James Park Saturday, Oct. 12. The event drew hundreds to the park, searching for all the free, family-friendly activities.

For the Watson family, attending the annual afternoon event is a benefit to the family budget.

“We are a family of six so we take advantage of discounted or free activities where the family can be together and have fun,” said Jon Watson.

The family's four children range in age from 5 to 20. Watson said the oldest child, a daughter, was working that afternoon and the others were playing while mother Angela and 5-year-old son Colton stayed closer.

Colton enjoyed getting the Batman logo painted on his cheek.

“We come out every year,” Angela said.

While the day was windy and cotton candy blew around, people enjoyed the sweet treats including Colton, who showed a slightly pale blue tongue from cotton candy.

“It's savings for us,” Jon said. “We have been coming as long as it's been going on.”

For Valerie and Brian Koenig, who attended with their family, the day provides a way to be part of the community.

"It's a joy to be here," Brian said.

Finn Koening, 8, enjoyed the blue cotton candy.

The day included games, a sensory area provided by the Kearney Parents as Teachers program, carnival rides, bounce houses and a martial arts demonstration from Pride Martial Arts.

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at or 389-6630.

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