News-Sun photo by CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY County Commissioner Greg Harris was right at home in the water during the Kids Night event in downtown Sebring Friday. Good thing too, Harris spent most of the evening soaking wet.
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published: Sunday, August 14, 2011
Snow cones, singing and a big splash
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- It was Kids Night in downtown Sebring Friday night, complete with coloring contests, face painting, a talent competition, hot dogs, and snow cones.
Cameryn Lester, Lauren Eubanks, Katie Lester and Kayli Spurlock each sang three songs apiece to warm applause, with Kayli being selected as the best performer for that particular show.
Down Ridgewood Drive, next to Linda's Books, Greg Harris, Eric Zwayer and Mike Stone took turns in the dunk tank, daring anyone to dump them in the water -- three tries for $1.
Harris took it a step farther -- "You throw like a girl," he taunted one young woman.
"You didn't hit it," he told a brawny young man, referring to the button that had to be hit squarely with a ball to release the seating mechanism. "But you scared it." he added, because the man was putting his whole body into the throws.
T.J. Wohl bought five chances for $10, and put Harris into the water not once, but twice.
"It's a lot more fun than it looks," Harris said, grinning ruefully, as he climbed out of the tank for the seventh or eighth time in a row.
"Aw, you're rooting for 'em aren't you," someone in the crowd called out.
Indeed, when some of the younger pitchers weren't able to throw hard enough to dunk him in the water, Harris told them to take a run and punch the button by hand.
Most of the children at the event were young, some facing going to school for the first time. When asked if they were excited about the first day of school, they just smiled politely, looked blank and focused on having a good time while wearing their mustard well.
Cole Ellis, 14, and headed to his freshman year at Sebring High School, is looking forward to the start of school. "I'm ready to go back," he said. "I miss my friends."
Local merchants helped make the event both fun and productive. Brenner's Pottery, Linda's Books and Still Chic Boutique took in school supply donations, while the Happy Owl, the Children's Museum and Carillo's Closet joined them in setting coloring contest stations.
Sebring High School cheerleaders volunteered as face painters in front of the newly opened Somo's Deli.
The night was a preamble to the Hot Rods & Hogs car show Saturday night.
And there is more to come in Sebring.
The week of Aug. 15-19 is Discovery Camp 2011 at the Children's Museum, this year highlighting the Wild West. It is designed for elementary age children and costs $75.
Call 385-5437 or visit www.ChildrensMuseumHighlands.com for more information.
Highlands Little Theatre opens its production of "The Secret Garden" Aug. 17. The show will run through Sept. 4. The story is about lonely children who discover a secret garden and find it a magical, healing place.
For those who wish to learn more about future plans, or current businesses, there is a "What's Up Downtown?" meeting at 5:30 p.m., Aug. 30 at the Jack Stroup Civic Center.
This month, Marjorie Ferrer, from the Delray Beach Development Authority, will be the guest speaker.
Call the Community Redevelopment Agency at 417-5104 for more information.
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