Squeals of laughter and screeches of joy emanated from the grassy area in front of Walking Tree Brewery last Saturday, as youngsters in bathing suits flitted about with abandon while playing in a watery wonderland filled with squirt guns and super-soakers, kiddie pools and lawn sprinklers, waterslides and slip n’ slides and, of course, the ever-popular bounce house.
The event clearly lived up to its billing as a Family Fun Day, with hundreds of little ones having the time of their life while their parents socialized, enjoying some great brews and a selection of sustenance from five food trucks. Children could also get their faces painted or get artistic themselves by painting river rocks with colorful acrylics.
“This is our first Family Fun Day, but we’re a family friendly bar already; it’s not a typical bar,” said Amanda Saunders, Walking Tree’s event coordinator. “We paired with the Boys and Girls Clubs because we wanted to heighten awareness and we got a few businesses to sponsor. We try to always use local and we’re always trying to think of ways we can promote each other all season.”
Saunders said they will be hosting a one-year anniversary party July 15 which will include five bands, adding, “We’re really grateful to the community for supporting us. It’s pretty awesome the support we’ve gotten and it’s not even been a year.”
Things were just as active inside the expansive brewery, where a lovely breeze blew through the open bay doors and kept things cool. A new Gamers Realm arcade due to open this summer brought some of their virtual reality games for children and adults to try out, including a couple of what looked like stomach-dropping roller coaster VRs. The arcade, owned by John DeBlasio and son-in-law Anthony Damasco, will be taking the space currently occupied by Christ Church once it moves to its new facility near Miracle Mile.
“We’re going to have every type of game from Atari to today’s virtual reality games and escape rooms,” said DeBlasio. “We’ll have more than 1,000 virtual reality games and experiences.”
“This is a good kickoff for summer,” said Jessica Schmidt, director of development for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indian River County, the event’s beneficiary. She noted that there are still a few openings for the B&GC Summer Program which starts in June at clubs in Vero Beach, Sebastian and Fellsmere. Close to 500 youngsters will participate in educational and recreational activities at the clubs from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. five days a week. “It’s fun, educational, active and safe,” said Schmidt.