Free family fun: Coalition to sponsor petting zoo, games

Coalition to sponsor petting zoo, games on Saturday

BIG RAPIDS — Parents looking for a fun way to spend time with their kids without breaking the bank may want to head over to the Mecosta County Fairgrounds on Saturday for a free picnic and petting zoo.

The Mecosta Osceola Coalition to Reduce Underage Substance Abuse will host the event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, behind the grandstand at the fairgrounds.

“It’s not just a petting zoo, either,” said Kim Livingston, prevention coordinator with the Ten16 Recovery Network, the fiduciary for MOCRUSA. “There’s also games and activities for the kids to go play.”

The first 200 people will receive a free hot dog lunch, including a hot dog, chips, cookie and water. Additionally, they will get a ticket to exchange for a feed cone to feed the animals in the petting zoo.

“It’s a fun family event to wrap up the summer,” Livingston said. “I think a lot of kids may not get to do a lot of fun activities, and this may be something they can do free of charge.”

Though largely focused on families with children, anyone is welcome to attend the event on Saturday. MOCRUSA tries to sponsor several “sober social events” throughout the year, Livingston explained, “to promote having a good time without alcohol or drugs.”

The events also serve to provide a way for families to enjoy time together at no cost, she said.

“This is a way for families to get out and have a good time without alcohol or drugs,” Livingston said. “We know for a fact when families sit down and eat dinner together and do activities together, it reduces the likelihood of the kids using drugs later in life.”

This is the second year MOCRUSA has sponsored a petting zoo. Last year’s event was at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Posse grounds and about 100 people attended.

“Everybody who came had a really good time,” Livingston said. “We strongly encourage families to come.”