Celebrate Youth Festival Gives Back To The Community


Lines formed hours before the event even started, with kids and adults hoping to take advantage of this “last hoorah” as the summer starts to wrap up.

Youth Services Public Information Coordinator Mike Toothman said the event is something families look forward to every year.

“We think this end of summer event is important as a way to give people a day together, a family day, and we want people to look at different options and pathways they, their families have towards the future,” Toothman said.

With nearly 70 vendors, families receive free school supplies, free food, free access to Wheeling Park and free entertainment.

Participants said the best thing they received is a family-friendly day of fun.

“I’m here to spend time with family, get school supplies for the new year and have fun,” said Cody Swauger.

“I thought it would be a fun time to spend time with my friend and his family,” said Robby Hess.

“I’m just here to have fun, hang out and get ready for school,” said Melanie Barrera.

This is the 10th year Youth Services has held the event and over the past nine, they’ve served more than 37,000 people.

Officials said the festival is a chance to celebrate the value youth bring to the community.

“We want to celebrate the contributions youth make to our communities everyday and we want to bring families and young people together with all the different resources available in the Valley to help them be successful,” Toothman said.

The event ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with parents, teens, and children all receiving information about healthy activities and life choices.

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