Party in the Park has purpose for youth

June 11, 2006|By DAVID P. GREISMAN | DAVID P. GREISMAN,SUN REPORTER

With sumo wrestling, rock climbing and a battle of the bands, youths from ages 11 to 18 can kick off the summer next weekend at the Party in the Park.

On Saturday, Westminster City Park on Longwell Avenue will host the youth fair, which is designed to provide enjoyable activities as well as volunteer and employment opportunities.

"We're trying to walk the fine line between entertainment and education," said Ann Walsh, manager of community health improvement for the Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County, the organization that is hosting the fair along with the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. "We're trying to book as many fun things as possible."

Among the activities scheduled are a car and truck show, an art contest, basketball and assorted games.

"Carroll County appreciates the positive contributions [youth] make to the community," Walsh said. "That's why we're inviting them to showcase their talent in athletics, music, their art, their cars and their trucks."

The top musical act will receive a cash prize and 10 hours of recording time at a local studio, while the winners at the car and truck show will be given trophies and medallions.

At the art show, the best paintings, drawings, photography and sculptures will be exhibited for two weeks at Carroll Community College, two weeks at the Carroll County Arts Council and 11 days at the Carroll Life Gallery in the County Office Building. The top three in each category will receive prizes.

Representatives from Carroll Hospital Center, Carroll County Public Library and other local businesses and organizations will have booths spotlighting ways for youth to get involved in the community.

"They're all very interactive booths that can help the youth see what else there is to do in the community outside of this one event," Walsh said.

Another major feature of the fair will be Girl Scout Lane, an area focusing on activities for youth participation.

"Girl Scouts ... has actually been concerned with girls and healthy living," said Danita Terry, director of communications and media relations for Girl Scouts of Central Maryland.

"There's been a real push to talk about girls being healthy, physically and emotionally. That is part of the focus for the Party in the Park. It's about promoting healthy living through physical activity."

Walsh said the organizations are hoping that the Party in the Park will become an annual event.

"We want people to continually recognize the positive things youth are doing in the community, not just a one-time deal," she said.

The fair will run from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., although a free one-mile fun run will begin at 9 a.m. Westminster City Park is at 11 Longwell Ave.

If it rains, a condensed version of the fair will be held at the Westminster Armory, which is near the park.

Tickets are available throughout Carroll County and are $5 for youth and $2 for adults, who must be accompanied by a youth to enter.

Information: 410-871-7648 or healthycarroll.org.

david.greisman@baltsun.com

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