Dancing, face painting and crafts highlight 2013 Family and Youth Festival

2013 Family and Youth Festival

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A day of wholesome entertainment took place at the Lake Charles Civic Center on Saturday.

From face painting to dancing to crafts and playing dress up, the 2013 Family and Youth Festival was a kid's dream come true.

Attendee Tracy Lemieux, who brought her daughter Audrey, said, "She was bouncing, she's gonna take her picture, she was dancing, there's a bunch of stuff for them to do here today."

There was also plenty of hands-on activities.

"Recreation plays an important role in the lives of kids, not just kids but teenagers, of young adults and senior citizens. So, it's important we keep them active, keep them busy and show them that we have a lot of things for them to do," said Albert Landry of Ward 3 Recreation.

Shooting hoops was a popular attraction for people of all ages. But the event was also an opportunity to include a little education.

"It's really exciting to see all the kids coming out with their moms and dads enjoying all the activities. And as fun as it is, it's also education and informative, so that's really what's best about it," said Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach.

And it was almost impossible to leave the event without bags and souvenirs and goodies of all kinds, or even a puppy dog.

"We're normally here every year; we come out, we bring a few puppies. We also have a cat, and we're hoping to find them a forever home," said adoption coordinator Michelle Larkins.

But home was the last place these children wanted to go. And maybe adults, too, because this year's event was also free. The city donated space in the Civic Center for the festival.

"The city is one of the sponsors as part of the program, and of course we joined with a lot of different groups and organizations in the community but really it's family and youth that's been doing this for 15 years," said Roach.

And some say this year tops the rest.

"It's even bigger and better this year it seems," said Lemieux.

More than 75 organizations from around Southwest Louisiana came together to host Saturday's festival, which was also an alcohol-free event.

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