Kids learn life lessons while having fun at festival


There was something for everyone at the 8th annual Celebrate Youth Festival held by Youth Services Systems.

“Probably all the free school supplies,” said Carley Bogard of Cameron.

“The tarantula, yeah, it’s real,” said Tony Bennett of Cadiz.

“I got on the bouncy houses got my face painted and got my hair done!” said Tiarra of Wheeling.

“Just something to do and have fun because they need to learn different things that are going on and everything else around here, you know,” said Rhenae Lednik of Bellaire.

Many families were amazed they could find an event like this one, with over 60 vendors and so much to do, for free.

“We’re hoping they take away information and just the fact that there’s this larger community that cares about kids and wants kids to be successful,” said Mike Toothman, Festival organizer.

The event achieved that goal, when 7News asked kids what they learned, from how to treat others to healthy living, they couldn’t stop talking.

 “That the tar is sticky on your lungs from smoking,” said MaKiyah Strothers.

“Well I learned taking care of people is good to do,” said Tiarra of Wheeling.

“Don’t get bullied, try to be good at school, learn, and finish high school and college,” said Casey Trout of Martins Ferry.

Volunteers were happy to give their time, they said this is an event they look forward to every year.

“He lives for this, this is the best day of the year for him. This is an opportunity for us to just give back to a community that is always so giving to us, this is the whole park today, free food drink golf swimming everything, so this is just our way of saying thank you for always supporting us,” said Ron Scott of Wheeling.

“And I’m just lucky to be apart of it,” said Jermaine Lucious of Wheeling.

Not only did they give back, but the festival inspired the future of the Ohio Valley too.

“I’m going to be a doctor when I grow up!” said Casey Trout of Martins Ferry.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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