Father’s Day Event Celebrates Families at Washington Park Saturday

Here’s a trivia question: What has 10 tons of food, three bands, living statues, a flea market, a magician and a monkey?

Give up? It’s the free “Father’s Day Event — A Celebration of Families” that will be held on Saturday, June 14, at Washington Park.

Wait, there’s even more. Amanda Huckabay of the Casper Housing Authority, which is sponsoring the special event, said there will be more than two dozen community organizations and businesses that will provide information and activities related to resources that can help families.

Huckabay said nationally, the Department of Housing and Urban Development created the Father’s Day event three years ago as part of its strategic plan to promote family cohesion and fathers being more involved with their children.

Although Wyoming housing agencies had never participated in the event before, Huckabay said she suggested that the Casper Housing Authority take on the project this year.

“It just started out as an event we were going to do for the tenants, which is about 600 people,” she recalled. ” I contacted other nonprofits to gauge their interest, and it has kind of snowballed from there and grown bigger. ”

The CHA added the tagline, “a celebration of families,” because it deals mostly with nontraditional families, including single moms and dads and grandparents raising grandchildren.

“We want the community to know this event is not a fundraiser, it’s something  we are putting on to celebrate families and provide information on community resources so people know that they’re not alone,” Huckabay said.

Mary Ann Budenske and Poverty Resistance will coordinate a mobile food pantry that plans to give away up to 20,000 pounds of food in the southeast corner of Washingon Park on 11th Street. Nearby, a flea market will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Three local bands will play in the park’s bandshell. Making its debut performance will be a new band, Godzilla Destroys Casper, which will take the stage at 11 a.m. The Foreign Life will play at noon, followed by Flashback at 2:15 p.m. The latter band’s performance will be sponsored by Windy City Dental. CJ Sound and Epic Entertainment will provide the sound equipment.

“Living Statues” will be in the park from 12:30-1:45 p.m. It’s a group of local residents formed by Clif McCready of Community Action Partnership, who is a veteran of the Stage III Community Theater.

“When Clif did it for Community Action Patnership, they focused on homelessness,” Huckabay said. The “statues,” mostly Stage III and Casper College actors, will appear to be white stone and will convey the impacts fathers have on families, whether by being present or absent.

The group will have 15 minutes set aside beginning at 1:45 p.m. to discuss its performance with the audience.

Lazarus Benson, a well-known Casper magician, will perform beginning at 1 p.m.

There will be many activities for youngsters, including a 30-foot obstacle course, laser tag and a giant slide. Cotton candy will be available, and Max the Monkey will make a visit.

Sinclair Oil is sponsoring a BBQ. Pepsi will provide beverages, and cutlery, condiments, buns and chips will be supplied by Sam’s Club.

Confirmed Community Booths include:

• 1224 Club – cake walk
• Wyoming Food for Thought – Fruit Carving
• Casper Fire Department – Fireman Games
• Central Wyoming Counseling Center – Dad’n’Me Bracelets
• Natrona County Health Department – bean bag toss with prizes
• Habitat for Humanity – Ring Toss
• Wyoming Contractor’s Association – McMurry Training Center – digging for prizes in sandbox
• Natrona County HeadStart & Early HeadStart – flower necklaces
• Educational Opportunity Centers (UW/TRiO) – career coloring exercise
• Natrona County WIC – “Choose My Plate” coloring sheet contest
• City of Casper – father’s day cards
• Community Action Partnership – Living Statues
• Poverty Resistance – face painting
• Boys and Girls Club of Central Wyoming – cowboy ethics game
• Legal Aid of Wyoming, Inc. – balloon toss
• Casper Police Department – DARE Officer
• Cent$ible Nutrition – bowling, hula hoops, trail mix
• Wind City Dental – oral hygiene
• Sinclair Oil – strong men & tattoos
• Seton House – fishing games and prizes
• Sam’s Club – candy
• Serve Wyoming – jar guessing games & prizes
• Children & Nutrition Services – Wheel of Nutrition game
• Self-Help Center – wheel game & prizes
• Pure Power Automotive – Cancer Awareness Car
• Wyoming Fallen Heroes – Army Vehicles
• K2 TV – Coloring News Anchors
• Central Wyoming Rescue Mission – bubbles
• Casper Police Department – patrol car

Budenske said the National Abortion Rights Action League and a group supporting the legalization of marijuana will also be at the event.