The Osage Community Centre will play host to the seventh annual Parks and Rec day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.
The event, sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department and the Southeast Missourian Jr., is free for children of all ages and will feature many activities, main stage entertainment, games and chances to win prizes, according to Cheryl Ellis, editor of the Southeast Missourian Jr.
"Parks and Rec Day is always well attended, and we expect this year to be no different," said Penny Williams, recreations manager at the Osage Community Centre. "Families always come out, there's all kinds of action and the Cape Girardeau airport's assistance is wonderful with the airplane pingpong ball drop."
Ellis said the drop is one of the event's biggest opportunities to win a prize, in which 700 balls will be released from an airplane, giving people chances to win an assortment of items if they grab a winning ball.
Plenty of other airplane-related activities will take place as well, as performers from the Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival will be signing autographs and skydivers will be talking about free-falling toward the earth. Also, members of the Southeast Missouri Model Plane Association will be flying their models around the center.
Ellis said the Missouri Department of Transportation will be bringing construction equipment for children to climb on, and the Cape Girardeau Fire Department will feature a fire-hose shoot, which allows children to see what it's like to handle a fire hose. The Cape Girardeau Police Department is also bringing the DARE vehicle.
The Humane Society of Southeast Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation will be bringing various animals for children to interact with, and there will also be pony rides. Two more animals one might see around are Texas Roadhouse mascot Andy Armadillo and Southeast Missourian Jr. mascot Tracker.
On the stage, KFVS12 science guru Jason Lindsey will set up a laboratory, Michael Simmons of Simmons Martial Arts will talk about safety and how to get away from child predators, and Scott Gibbons of HealthPoint Fitness will get the crowd's heart rate up with some exercise tips.
"We have something for everyone," Williams said. "We get all kinds. Grandparents bring their children, families come out, and everyone loves arts and crafts."
The popular game Laser Tag will be at the event, as well as an obstacle course from Space Walk. Procter & Gamble will bring a water slide. Ellis said there will also be a toddler area and an inflatable house children can jump around in.
"Bring the infants because we'll have plenty of things for them to do in our Toddler Turf," Williams said. "We'll also have plenty of food and lots of snacks."
Free food will be provided by sponsors including Schnucks, Dairy Queen, Cape West Cine, Good Humor and RC Cola.
335-6611, extension 245