Families enjoy the fun at Marysville's Kids Party in the Park | SLIDESHOW

MARYSVILLE — Bouncy houses, baseball players, balloons and boa constrictors could all be found at the Strawberry Festival’s fourth annual Kids Party in the Park on June 9 at Asbery Field.

“We definitely have more people here than last year,” said Kids Party director Dave Clemmons. “And it’s great that we have the Reptile Man here. He’s great, he’s been around for years.”

Hundreds of people attended the six-hour event and had opportunities to participate in dozens of free activities. Kids lined up to have their faces painted, took turns playing in a choice of three bouncy houses, built projects with tables full of building supplies, practiced gymnastics with Rising Stars, practiced pitching with the Everett Aquasox and met Rowdy, the Everett Raptors mascot.

Possibly the biggest crowd at the event gathered around the Reptile Man, who displayed several different species of snakes, lizards, tortoises and even an alligator.

Children responded in shock and awe as the Reptile Man pulled everything from a massive diamondback rattlesnake to a gaboon viper — the world’s second deadliest snake — out of his stack of bins. He allowed kids to pet a young American alligator, a tortoise and a python.

Bouncy houses, which made their first appearance at the Kids Party this year, were very popular among the younger crowds. Shelley and Richard Tucker have been taking their children to the Kids Party in the Park for three years and were happy to see the bouncy houses this time around.

“She loves the bouncy houses,” said Shelley Tucker, of her 5 year-old daughter Maria. “I think it’s so much more fun, they’ve never had bouncies here before.” Maria agreed with her mother and said her favorite bouncy house was a tall one with three slides because “it’s bouncy and it’s the biggest.”

For newcomers, the Kids Party was a great free event for a warm Saturday afternoon. “We just moved here last August from Seattle and Lynnwood,” said Christina Pluschke, who brought her 7 year-old nephew Troy Stedman. “We are learning all about the Strawberry Festival.”

Pluschke said so far, the Kids Party was very entertaining. “It’s fun and he really loves it. He usually gets bored but it’s not boring. It’s great.”

Attendees had the opportunity to buy ice cream, cotton candy, piroshkies, subs, shaved ice and more from a variety of food vendors. The radio station Movin’ 92.5 provided some entertainment and contest opportunities. Kung Fu 4 Kids offered presentations and information for the youngsters. Kids also received various free goodies from different vendors including beaded necklaces and piggy banks.

The Kids Party was enough fun to guarantee attendance in the years to come.

“We’ll definitely come back again,” said Pluschke.


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