Summer's beginning to sizzle in Reynoldsburg and the city's first Kid Fest Block Party is scheduled June 24.
The Kid Fest will include a bounce house, a student art show, free food, a bike-decorating contest, chalk art, hula-hoop and jump-rope contests and other games from noon to 4 p.m. at Cotner Park, in front of the mural at the corner of East Main Street and state Route 256.
Donna Boiman, director of the Central Ohio Art Academy, said the city will close off Route 256 in front of the Central Ohio Art Academy and Cotner Park for about half a block.
She said the Kid Fest is free, but people are asked to bring a canned or nonperishable food item to donate to the Reynoldsburg Helping Hands food pantry.
"This will be the first festival in Reynoldsburg just for kids," Boiman said. "I was thinking about having a summer art show for my students but was talking to some of my students' mothers and we decided to expand that into a kids festival and block party with music."
Free refreshments and snacks will be available, such as hot dogs, popcorn and cold water.
The Columbus Division of Fire safety-escape house will also be set up at the festival.
"Many of my students had not experienced the education connected with the fire escape house, so we thought it might be an important thing to include," Boiman said.
The Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Department is helping coordinate the Kid Fest, director Donna Bauman said.
She said the city contracts with the Central Ohio Art Academy to offer a number of art programs to residents.
"Anything we can do to get more children involved with the arts is a plus," Bauman said.
The art school will display students' works and will be open during the festival, Boiman said.
"One of my students, Marc Tennant, will be showing his recent films in our newly renovated kids theater," she said.
Tennant will be a senior at Pickerington High School North. He has worked on sculptures and short films at the art school since 2013, according to Boiman.
"Marc will film and edit the festival and show it at 3:30 p.m. inside the art school," Boiman said.
She said local merchants are giving monetary donations to Reynoldsburg Helping Hands and to the festival.
The afternoon will include a demonstration by tai chi master Teresa Munnerlyn and 20 Tai Chi students.
The chalk-drawing contest will include prizes for all participants, with three full scholarships to Central Ohio Art Academy going to the three best chalk artists.
"Kids are allowed to draw in chalk all over the sidewalk and into the street," Boiman said.
She said the bicycle-decorating contest is a timely one, since kids are invited to decorate their bicycles and ride in the city's Fourth of July parade.
"Our Reynoldsburg police officers will be giving out the bicycle awards," she said. "I think this will be a great event for our community."