It was a fun-filled day for folks in Madison County as they kicked off their Celebrate Youth day.
It was much more than a back-to-school party — it was a way to focus on family.
“Everybody gets a prize, everybody gets popcorn, everybody gets a train ride. We want to celebrate the family,” said event sponsor Jessica Goudy.
Moms, dads, kids old and young and even teenagers enjoyed a day of play Tuesday in Rexburg’s Porter Park.
“I think it’s just everybody getting together in the community, just having a lot of fun,” said Eric Davenport, who attended with his family.
Celebrate Youth is an event put on by Madison Community Council as a way to bring people together the day before school starts.
Families came out for raffles, games and even face painting. And the best part? It was all free.
It started with a carnival at 2 p.m., set up with 12 different booths.
“Paul Mitchell sent over a group of volunteers, and they’re doing wacky hair. So you see kids walking around with green mohawks,” said Goudy.
Then they had dinner and a short program. It all ended with a youth dance that lasted until 9 p.m.
Goudy said a main focus this year is raising mental health awareness within the home.
Parents could come by and get information from licensed therapists on problems like ADHD and sign up for help.
“We’re trying to inform the community about mental health and how mental health involves everybody. It involves you, it involves me, it involves your neighbor. We don’t want it to be something that people are ashamed of; we want it to be something that people can own,” said Goudy.
With more than 10,000 people in the park Tuesday, they made a big step toward that goal.
The council began setting up for the event four months ago. Booths and games are all run by sponsors and volunteers from around the county, like the Rexburg Police Department and Madison Memorial Hospital.