Come early for hot air balloon rides


Published in the May 18, 2016 edition

READY. AIM. FIRE. From left, Drew Von Jako, Colin McCormack and Kevin Connolly are prepared to test their battle-readiness in the Nerf Battle Zone, a new event offered at Townscape’s Kids Day on Saturday. A Nerf Mega Elite Centurion Blaster, like the one Connolly is holding, will be raffled off to benefit Townscape. (Courtesy Photo)

READY. AIM. FIRE. From left, Drew Von Jako, Colin McCormack and Kevin Connolly are prepared to test their battle-readiness in the Nerf Battle Zone, a new event offered at Townscape’s Kids Day on Saturday. A Nerf Mega Elite Centurion Blaster, like the one Connolly is holding, will be raffled off to benefit Townscape. (Courtesy Photo)

LYNNFIELD — In just three days, the family event of the spring opens at Lynnfield Middle School. Townscape’s Geraniumfest and Kids Day event has something to appeal to every age group.

The main event on Saturday, May 21 will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. but there are plenty of reasons to come early.

The geraniums and flowering plant sale area opens at 8 a.m. and runs to 1:30 p.m. Those who pre-ordered their flowers as well as anyone who wishes to avoid the crowds is welcome to arrive early. The Geraniumfest is held on the sidewalk near the Middle School parking lot, making this area accessible to the public without needing to pass through the registration area for the Kids Day activities.

Proceeds from all flower and plant sales remain earmarked by Townscape for the purchase of trees that are donated to the town for use along town streets, parks and cemeteries. Over 1,000 trees have been donated to the town by Townscape since it was founded three decades ago.

Townscape expanded its mission last year with its first Kids Day event with the goal of raising funds to support the improvement of the town’s public parks, to replace crumbling playground equipment and to help improve and maintain the town’s playing fields.

Another reason to come early to Kids Day would be to enjoy a ride in the Re/Max Leading Edge hot air balloon. Townscape’s Director of Communications Kathryn Price informs the Villager that the tethered balloon rides will only be offered from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday. This time restriction is due to the guidelines given by its handlers for specific weather conditions and time of day, she said.

“The rides will be given on a first come, first served basis, with riders going four at a time, weather permitting,” Price said.

Geraniumfest and Kids Day will be held rain or shine. Wet weather would only cancel the hot air balloon rides.

A third reason to come early to the event would be to pre-register children to the Kids Day activities. All event attendees must sign a waiver for their children prior to entrance. “Please note that waivers for children must be signed by each child’s parent or legal guardian in order to gain entrance,” Price said. If a child is attending with a non-family member, a parent may wish to print out the waiver form from Townscape’s website or pre-register online.

Pioneer Pride Parade

The Pioneer Pride Parade officially opens the Kids Day event at 10:30 a.m. in the sponsor area where nearly two dozen sponsors will greet fair-goers.

Children over age 2 must have their wrist band in order to take part in the parade. All youngsters and adults are encouraged to wear blue and gold or blue and yellow to show their town pride.

Kids under 2 are free

Price noted that ticket prices are actually lower than last year for this fund-raiser. The cost is $20 for one child and $40 for two children with a $50 family cap.

“Children under 2 and adults are free!” Price said. “This fee covers all activities inside the fair area, except those in the independent vendor area, such as sand art, children’s yoga books and items for purchase, such as clothing.”

There are several ways to pre-register for the event.

Townscape will accept cash, checks and credit cards (paid through the Eventbrite website) on the day of the event.

Those who pre-register online will enter the event through a separate line at Kids Day to save time. Check it out at:

Families can also pre-purchase registration bracelets in person on Friday, May 20 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Lynnfield Middle School near the tennis courts.

New Nerf Battle Zone

Kids Day attendees will see something they’ve likely never seen before … a Nerf Battle Zone.

For the first time, the annual event will stage a Nerf battle area and kids will participate by bringing their own Nerf blasters.

“The baseball batting cage at the Middle School will be transformed into a place where kids – and maybe some adults –will attempt to survive the Nerf-pocalypse,” said Steve Connolly, a volunteer for Townscape.

“We were brainstorming ideas on what events would appeal to kids and we came up with this idea and it’s really come together well,” Connolly said.

“My son Kevin has a growing collection of Nerf blasters and many of his friends do too, and they need a place to play with them. This will be a lot of fun for them,” Connolly believes.

The battle zone will use large cardboard boxes set up as obstacles and all participants will be issued protective eye-wear, just as a precaution.

“There will be big 5v5 timed team battles as well as smaller 1v1 or 2v2 battles, all of which will be included in the entry fee to Townscape’s Kids Day,” added Connolly.

In addition, a raffle will be held to benefit Townscape with the lucky winner going home with a Nerf Mega Elite Centurion blaster.

“It should be a great event and we’re really hoping the kids enjoy it,” commented Price.

While Kids Day is open to all ages, the Nerf Battle Zone will be available only for kids ages 5 and up, Connolly said.


• The list of Touch-A-Truck participants is growing. Youngsters will enjoy exploring a Lynnfield Police Department police vehicle; a Lynnfield Fire Department fire truck and ambulance; a Peabody Municipal Light Plant (PMLP) bucket truck and amp digger trucks; Mass Pipeline backhoes, Bobcats and dump truck equipment; plus a visit from Batman with his original Batmobile and Bat Cycle; Four Star Towing’s tow trucks; and a backhoe from Barn Car Wash.

The PMLP is also celebrating its 125th anniversary year and will be distributing hard hats to children and information on energy conservation and other give-aways during the event.

Other attractions

Fun activities for the kiddies will also include: an archery station donated by Camp Eastman/Torigian YMCA of Peabody; face painting, tattoos and nail painting; balloon animals by Awesome Robb the Clown; a “game truck” with 20 video game consoles; a petting zoo from “Animal Craze” and a photo booth with props from “Fame Photo Booth.”

At the “Gardening for Kids” station provided by the Village Home and Garden Club of Lynnfield, kids can decorate a flower pot and plant seeds in the pot to begin a garden at home.

Kids will also burn through their boundless energy at multiple bouncy houses, the Lynnfield Youth Soccer Station, by testing their skills on the obstacle course and in the kids’ play area provided by Knucklebones; playing games donated by Lynnfield Rec and participating in kids sports games provided by SportsZone 101.

Food will be provided on-site by several food trucks and the vendors will be donating a portion of their proceeds to Townscape.

Newspaper coloring contest

And don’t forget to stop by the Villager’s sponsor table to enter the newspaper’s patriotic-theme coloring contest in honor of Armed Forces Day, which is Saturday as well.

All children who enter the coloring contest will have a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Meletharb’s ice cream for themselves plus a gift subscription to the Villager for their parents.

There are two age categories: Children 6 years old and under and children 7 to 12 years old. The two winners will also have their photograph published in the Villager with their winning entries.