The Payson Optimist Club has hooked up with the Town of Payson Parks and Recreation Department, Arizona Game and Fish Department and Payson Community Christian School to host the inaugural Kids Fishing Festival. The event will be held 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 21 at Green Valley Park.
Children of all ages may participate free of charge.
Local anglers Dennis Pirch, a Payson Roundup outdoors columnist and co-owner of The Tackle Box in Tonto Basin, and Tracy Purtee will be on hand to lend fishing tips and administer skill tests.
Because the pair have been fishing Arizona lakes for about as long as any angler in the state, having the two available will be a special treat for young fishing enthusiasts.
Also participating will be several state Game and Fish instructors, who will host fishing classes and clinics.
All children who register for the clinics will receive a hat or visor and a photo of themselves with the fish they catch.
They will also receive special raffle tickets.
Among the prizes awarded will be a hosted fishing trip to Roosevelt Lake with Purtee, an electric trolling motor, fishing outfits and hand-carved duck decoys.
Optimist Club members continue to scour the Rim Country, collecting more raffle prizes.
The raffle will be held between 2 and 3 p.m.
Anyone who wishes to donate may do so by calling Joan Young at (928) 472-2264.
Among the unique features of the event will be a "Bragging Board" on which names and catches will be posted throughout the festivities.
Also, KCMA (98.5 FM) will broadcast most of the day, meals and snacks will be served at reasonable prices and adult raffles will be held.
For more information, call Corey Kroll (928) 468-0320, Gary Parkinson (928) 474-2601 or Young at the above number.