Hundreds of adults and children gathered under the elms at Ruggles Park on a misty June 17th Saturday for the 2017 kick-off to the summer season of Greater Fall River Re-creation programs and activities. The free three-hour celebration offered music, food and plenty of fun activities for hundreds of people including arts and crafts, games and prizes, face painting, bouncy houses, a fire demonstration house, pony rides, and the ever popular WiggleKids bouncy balls. A number of agencies offered information and give-aways to participants, including the Fall River Women's Center, Stanley Street Treatment and Resources' BOLD Coalition, and Partners for a Healthier Community covering its Sugar-Free Challenge. Free pizza was provided by Seth Hockert-lotz, owner of Domino's Pizza South Main Street, who helped to sponsor the event along with the United Way. Click here for a five-minute video of the event. Click here to see pictures and video from last year's event. For more information about any of their summer programs, contact Grace Gerling at Greater Fall River Re-Creation at 508-679-0922.

(Top two rows) Children enjoy the many activities offered at the Park as part of the annual three-hour kick-off event. (Row three) United Neighbors of Fall River Executive Director Wendy Garf-Lipp paints faces while Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard talks to adults about the problems associated with sugar in the diet. (Row three) Brian Vanderhoop looks over information given to him by Alyssa and Briana Jusseaume of the BOLD Coalition, while Rhoda Drolea and Holli Faria of Studio Life Art watch Vanessa Ferreira paint Dylan Oliver's hand and Joanna Gonzalves and John Silva of the Women's Center talk about their services. (Row four) Ms. Picard watches as twelve-year-old Adin Whitehead and his seven-year-old brother Kalib try their hand at making giant soap bubbles. (Row five) As the crowd lines up for free pizza courtesy of Seth Hockert-lotz, owner of Domino's Pizza, Jason Springer poses for a photo with the Cat in the Hat and several children while other kids sit in the driver's seat of a Fall River Fire Department truck and try the megaphone. (Bottom row) Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II chats with a parent and then poses for a photo with Youth of the Year Eleane Lema and Greater Fall River Re-creation Executive Director Grace Gerling as Eleane's younger siblings play on the WiggleKids bouncy balls.

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