PARKERSBURG - About 200 children and their families attended the annual Wood County Deputy Sheriff's Association kids picnic Friday in City Park.
"The turnout this year wasn't too bad," said Lt. Shawn Graham, president of the Wood County Deputy Sheriff's Association. "I think the weather with the overcast and threat of rain kept people away from the park."
In fact, the inflatables, Parkersburg Fire Department truck and other programs packed up about half an hour early when the clouds opened up. The picnic typically brings between 500 and 1,000 children to the park each year.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Brayden Ladeaux, 11 months, of Parkersburg is held by Lt. Brandon Brown of the Parkersburg Fire Department Friday during the annual Wood County Deputy Sheriff’s Association kids picnic.
The kids day picnic allows children of all ages to meet local deputies and law enforcement officials from the Wood County Sheriff's Department for more than 20 years. Local deputy sheriffs ran the show behind the scenes and meeting those in the community.
"We see this as a way for the youth to meet us, see what we can do and build a relationship with them," Graham said.
There were a number of inflatables for kids to enjoy as well as other games with the fire truck open for kids to climb in and look around.
"I can't believe all of the kids here," said Lt. Brandon Brown with the Parkersburg Fire Department. "This is really a great event for them with the food and fingerprinting."
The Wood County Sheriff's Office had their identification vehicle on hand to take photos and fingerprints to be placed on identification cards.
"We did 85 today, which is great," Graham said. "This is a service we can provide that has the potential to keep kids safe."
The picnic is sponsored annually by the association had food provided by local McDonald's restaurants and an appearance from Ronald McDonald.
There were also games, clowns and balloons to entertain.
Graham said the duty sheriff's association also purchased 30 bicycles, which were given away.
"The community has been so generous to us that we have been able to give these bikes to kids who attend and we are very grateful," he added. "All of this picnic is thanks to the community."