Getting Hooked

Annual Kids Fishing Festival is Saturday

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The annual Optimist Kids Fishing Festival takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 27 at Green Valley Park. The first 300 kids who register for the event will receive a free hat.

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There will be plenty of fishing gear available for loan during the festival, as well as experienced anglers to teach you how to use it.

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Fish will be weighed and measured during the festival, and names along with biggest catches will be posted on the “Bragging Board.”

Spring fever is running rampant. It’s time to get out of the house and out into the fresh air after a long, cold, wet winter. The 4th Annual Optimist Kids Fishing Festival is just the right tonic for that fever — and it’s for everyone, not just the kids.

The fishing festival is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 27 at Green Valley Park.

Registration is free and starts at 8 a.m. and continues throughout the day. Those who register to participate in the festival don’t need a license to fish the Green Valley Lakes that day.

No fishing gear? No problem — there will be plenty of gear available for loan during the day. No bait? No problem — extra bait will also be available. The first 300 kids registering for the event will get a free hat.

Fish will be weighed and measured for anyone who wishes and there will be a “Bragging Board” where the names and catches will be listed throughout the day and KCMA will be broadcasting live from the event.

There will also be food available for purchase from the Optimists, including breakfast burritos starting at 7 a.m., plus hot dogs, hamburgers, soda and more.

The 4th Annual Optimist Kids Fishing Festival is a cooperative effort of the Rim Country Optimist Club, Payson Parks & Recreation Department, Arizona Game & Fish Department, John Wisner (balloon sculptures), Bethany Beck (photos), KCMA Radio Station, Summit Silkscreen & Embroidery and Trout Unlimited.

Even if you don’t fish, you will want to take a chance or place a bid. There will be a huge raffle and silent auction during the day to help cover costs. Raffle tickets will be sold and prizes awarded throughout the day. The drawing for the major prizes will between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Silent auction bids will be finalized at 2 p.m.

Among the silent auction items donated so far: art work; purses; and lots of baskets featuring the themes of fishing, Americana, pink comfort, Christmas, dog lover’s, yellow comfort, discovery, early learner Halloween, kitchen and gourmet appetizers.

Raffle items include a $550 pontoon boat and a $249 Caddis Navigator 6-Float Tube, fishing poles with rods and reels, and much more.

Anyone wishing to donate goods and services to be included in the raffle and silent auction may do so up until the morning of the event. To make a donation, call Corey Kroll, (928) 474-9686 or Joan Young, (928) 472-2264.

Volunteer help is also needed in various positions. Call the above numbers if you can help out.

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