Playground celebration draws hundreds to Crosby Park

By Mike Lange
Staff Writer

     DEXTER — Despite competition from a parade in Corinna and two Dexter Regional High School sporting events, Saturday’s Family Fun Day at the new Dexter Community Playground was considered very successful.

NE-ColorPlayDonuts-DC-PO-38Observer photo/Mike Lange

  NO HANDS — One of the most popular games was the donut-eating contest where kids had to munch on donuts dangled on a string. Pictured are Evalyn Fisk of Dexter, left, and Dylan Talbot of Ripley.

     “No matter what weekend we picked to do this, we’d have competition,” said Sue Hill, one of the key organizers of the event. “We didn’t hold on the 7th because of Garland Days and we knew some people would be busy at least part of this weekend. But overall, we’re really pleased with the turnout.”
Hundreds of youngsters, their parents and grandparents flocked to Crosby Park to celebrate the installation of several new playground pieces including climbers, a swing set, merry-go-round and some spring-mounted surfers.

NE-PlayRings-DC-PO-38Observer photo/Mike Lange

    NICE RINGER — Harley Ahern tosses a ring on two wooden bottles, earning tickets toward a prize.

     For a token fee, youngsters played games like ring toss, “Chuck-A-Duck,” pumpkin painting and a donut eating contest where kids had to munch on the pastries which were dangling from a string — no hands allowed.
     Every youngster that participated in a game received one ticket; if they won, they’d get another one. Once they accumulated a set number of tickets, they’d get a prize. “The stuffed monkeys for the 30-ticket winners are really popular, and all of them were donated,” said Debbie Tibbetts, who was in charge of the prize tent.

NE-PlayDuck-DC-PO-38Observer photo/Mike Lange

    CHUCK-A-DUCK — Brothers Liam (front) and Ian Saunders played Chuck-A-Duck where the object was to toss a rubber duck into a target.

     Alyson Saunders watched as her sons, Liam and Ian, tossed rubber ducks at a target in the “Chuck-A-Duck” contest and recalled when the old pressure-treated lumber playground was installed about 20 years ago. “I was around 10 years old, and it was a huge accomplishment for the town back then,” Saunders said. “But the old playground was really showing its age, so I’m really excited about the new equipment. The kids love it.”
     The Dexter Community Playground Committee has raised about $32,000 toward their goal of $130,000 to eventually replace all the equipment at Crosby Park, and was still getting final figures from Saturday’s event at presstime.

NE-PlayClimb-DC-PO-38Observer photo/Mike Lange

    HELPING HAND — Cadence Ross has a little help from mom, Beth, getting down from one of the playground climbers at Saturday’s Family Fun Day.

     But as Hill put it, “We really didn’t organize the event to raise a lot of money, but we’re happy with what we accomplished. The main purpose was to bring the community together, and it worked.”
Hill said that she’d like to see an annual Family Fun Day around the same time of the year, maybe involving more events. “This was our first attempt, and we’ve learned a lot,” she added.

NE-PlayGoRound-DC-PO-38Observer photo/Mike Lange

    TAKING A SPIN — The manual merry-go-round was one of the most popular attractions at the Family Fun Day.

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