the joyful sounds of children and a torrent of motion filled Shields Park on Friday morning during the annual End of Summer Escape.
The event, sponsored by the Seymour Park & Recreation Department, offered a last hurrah for children before school begins anew on Monday.
The idea behind the event drew praise from at least one parent with children attending school in the city.
“It’s great to see the city doing something like this for the kids,” said Tiffany York of Seymour.
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She has three school-aged children and brought along two other children she baby-sits to the event.
“It’s wonderful to have something to do that doesn’t kill me in expenses,” York said.
Six inflatables, including a bounce house, slide and obstacle course, filled the area near the bandstand, while music played from the stage, all at no cost to those attending. Admission to the Shields Park Pool also was free for kids for the day.
Six-year-old Bobby York said he liked all the bouncing attractions, but his favorite was the large inflatable slide. Chaze Combs, 9, on the other hand, said he preferred the obstacle course, even if he wasn’t winning any races through it.
The two boys said they hadn’t had time to get one of the free freezer pops offered by parks staff, but they planned to do so before they left.
The event, initially planned for Thursday, was delayed a day because of rain.
“The event’s gone really well so far. We had to reschedule it from yesterday, but today turned out much better than yesterday, so that worked out,” said Brent Jameson, parks director.
Jameson said his assistant, Christy Posttschmidt, was instrumental in planning the event this year.
The effort was appreciated by York.
“Seymour doesn’t have anything else like this. Usually, we end up traveling to get stuff like this,” she said.
Jameson said the event serves another purpose besides sending kids back to school.
“I think it gives kids a good chance to get out and spend some energy,” he said.
The event was also a chance for one boy and one girl to win a free backpack filled with supplies.
“It’s pretty much everything you’d need to get through the school year, and there’s even a toy or two in them,” Jameson said.
At noon, the inflatable attractions closed down, and the event moved to the swimming pool, which will close for the season after Sunday.
“Most of our workers are high school students, so it just works out that that’s when we close,” Jameson said.