SOUTHINGTON – Family Fun Day will bring princesses, superheroes, a bubble truck and more to the Southington Drive-In Sept. 10, while raising money to purchase toys for children at Connecticut Children's Medical Center.
Family Fun Day will be held Saturday, Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the drive-in at 995 Meriden Waterbury Turnpike, with a rain-date set for Sunday, Sept. 11. The event will include face painting, glitter tattoos, hayrides and carnival games like ring toss along with a DJ and a traveling bubble bus. Children will also have the chance to meet, Batman, Spiderman and some Disney princesses.
In addition, there will also be 35 vendors, including local businesses, arts and crafts and apple fritters. Raffles will be held with proceeds supporting Connecticut Children's Medical Center.
JoAnne Salerno, who owns children's entertainment company "Puttin on the Ritz," has been organizing the event, which began as Princess Meet and Greet events, for 15 years. She said she wanted to give back to the Connecticut Children's Medical Center for helping to treat her daughter, who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 3.
"She is now 39 years old and has a five-year-old son," said Salerno. "When I hold the Family Fun Day, I bring a poster of my daughter and her son and I tell her story. I always get choked up. I meet so many people who have children at the hospital that tell me that my daughter is an inspiration to them. They feel like they can have hope."
Last year, the Family Fun Day drew more than 1,000 people to the drive-in. The money collected was used to purchase 1,500 toys for children at the hospital.
"I love to see the support that we get year after year," said Salerno. "It's so much work ahead of time to put this event together, but it's all worth it."
Salerno said that, in the future, she may also incorporate live music into the Family Fun Day.
Salerno encouraged local families to come out, have a good time and to purchase raffle tickets to support a good cause.
"What happened to my family can happen to anyone," she said. "In one minute, your whole life will be changed."
Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door.
Tickets are available at Pat's Ice Cream on Main Street in Southington, The Little Red Store on Marion Ave in Plantsville, Lewis Farms on Meriden Ave. in Southington.
Additional vendor spots are available.
For more information, or to sign-up as a vendor, call Salerno at 860-620-3221 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.