Spring is finally here in the high country, and the Rim Country Optimist Club is kicking off the warm weather with their 4th Annual Kids Fishing Festival at Green Valley Park.
It will start bright and early at 8 a.m. and will continue throughout the day Saturday, March 27, with numerous booths and fishing expertise for everyone in the family.
This will be a free fishing day sponsored by the Urban Fishing Program of the Arizona Game and Fish Department in conjunction with Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
There will be a double stocking of catchable rainbow trout with a healthy number of incentive or bonus fish in the two- to four-pound range being placed into the lake prior to the event. Loaner fishing equipment and bait will even be provided for those who may want to give fishing a try as a family outdoor activity.
The Optimist Club will have a food booth with breakfast and lunch items so families can spend the entire day enjoying the activities provided.
Tickets can be purchased for a raffle drawing, which will take place hourly and a silent auction at 2 p.m. All the proceeds for the day’s activities will be used for the Friends of Youth sponsored by the Optimist Club.
Music will be provided by KCMA 98.5 FM, and of course they will announce big fish catches of the day.
Longtime fishing enthusiasts Teresa and Tracy Purtee will coordinate the registration, while members of the local Trout Unlimited group will help youngsters and adults try their luck at catching a trout.
This will certainly be a “photo op” day, with smiling faces and big fish bragging rights.
Veteran bass angler Keith Hunsinger will be conducting fishing seminars and will give youngsters a chance to see a fully rigged bass boat ready for Roosevelt Lake action.
Another popular event is Captain John Wisner of the Hellsgate Fire Department creating and giving away balloon sculptures while Summit Silkscreen will be onsite selling T-shirts commemorating the fishing festival.
The first 300 youngsters to sign up will receive a free hat and other fishing equipment, plus a chance to catch a real trophy rainbow trout.
This promises to be a great way to spend a Saturday with family and friends enjoying Green Valley Park, the jewel of Payson. Mark it on your calendar.
The Optimist Club Fishing Festival is a free fishing day in conjunction with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Payson Parks and Recreation programs.
Enjoy your family, take them fishing in God’s creation.