The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 4, 2013

Hometown Celebration: More food and more fun this year

By Jessica Salmond, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The 11th annual Hometown Celebration at Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse and Adventure Quest was predicted to be the “biggest ever.”

Julie Baird, executive director, said there were more prizes, games and activities this year than before.

“All because of our fabulous interns,” Baird said.

The two summer interns at Leonardo’s strove to make the Hometown Celebration bigger and better. Trent Misak and Dani Comstock, interns through the Enid Summer Achievers Program, organized the entire event this year. They were in charge of getting sponsors, prizes and advertising.

“My hat is off to Trent and Dani,” Baird said. “They have taken this project and made it their own.”

Families and children at Adventure Quest could participate in team relays and also play individual games, such as bobbing for apples.

Volunteers hung apples from strings and kids had to try and bite into them without using their hands.

Taryn Ashlosk, 5, told his parents after several attempts “if I can’t do it, I can’t do it.” But with some perseverance, he won his apple.

“It’s going good,” Mishak said during the activities. “We’ve had a lot of people come out, and lots of games; the weather was perfect.”

More than 300 people came to participate by 11 a.m., Baird said. Part of the draw this year was the provided free lunch. Meals were donated by sponsors such as AdvancePierre Foods, Sara Lee, Frito-Lay, Pepsi bottling and Casing Crews.

The celebration ended near noon with the turtle races. About seven turtles competed for first place, but the winner was a speedy box turtle named “Aah.”

“Aah,” named by 2-year-old Kody Allison, was found on a dirt road and had his shell painted with a red, white and blue flag.

“The day was a huge success,” Misak said. “We had been planning the even since out first day as interns, so it was great to see everything come together. It was also rewarding to see all the families come out and enjoy quality time together.”