This Saturday, May 19, Artful Arrangements will be hosting their fourth annual Down-Home Day, a day for family fun with music, activities and games for people of all ages. The event, with free admission and free parking, will be held on the grounds of a working 1915 homestead at 205 Orchard Ln., in Penngrove.
Artful Arrangements, a non-profit that was founded in 2007, has a mission of finding ways for parents or grandparents and their children to play and spend quality time together that are affordable, convenient, fast and fun. The goal is for children to practice in public what is being taught at home about good manners, social skills and respect for elders, before they are influenced by modern technology.
“Our mission is to find ways for parents and children to spend time together that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Some kids get cell phones at age 8 now. If the parents don’t go out and do things with their children in public so their children can practice good manners and respect for elders, time’s going to run out before they realize it,” says Diane Davis, founding director of Artful Arrangements. “Our mission is, I think, really important because families with young children are short on both time and resources. There’s never enough time, there’s never enough money and then when kids get cell phones they realize their kids are going their own separate ways and if they haven’t taught the basics, it’s too late.”
The Down Home Day will also act as a fundraiser, with proceeds from a raffle and food and drink sales helping to fund Artful Arrangements’ many programs and services, such as their free Parallel Family Play booth at public events, free Treasured Time Pick-Up Activity program offered at schools, and other field trips, team activities, tours and events. Raffle tickets are $1 each, 12 for $10, or 25 for $20. Raffle prizes have been sponsored by Casini Ranch Family Campground, Garden Valley Ranch, Andy’s Market, Scandia Family Fun Center, Cal Skate, Double Decker Lanes and Triple H Riding Center – all things a family can do together.
“It’s a combination fun day and fundraiser,” says Davis. “The idea is to raise just enough money to cover our expenses for putting it on because it’s our mission to create affordable things to do with the family.”
Food will be available for purchase, including a large plate BBQ chicken with a green salad, beans and a roll for $10, a medium plate for $7, a hot dog meal with beans or salad for $5, or just a hot dog for $3. Cold beer served in a cold mug will be available for $5.
Besides the food and raffle, Down Home Day will offer 12 different fun activities, games and contests. Each activity just costs $1 and includes an applesauce challenge where blindfolded kids have to feed spoonful’s of applesauce to their parents whose hands are tied behind their back; grown-up face painting, where kids paint the faces of their parents with stencils; an egg relay; chicken feeding; several different photo contests, and more.
“The “Help! Fire! Save me!” game is being manned by volunteers from the Rancho Adobe fire district,” says Davis. “In that activity the firefighter gives the child a plastic fire hat and the parents get behind the plexi-glass window in the fake cabin front. The flames are plywood and are red, orange and yellow below the window. As soon as the child can get the stream of water from the garden hose to hit the flames they tip over and they have rescued their parents! Then we give them a big sucker. It’s something the parents and children can play together.”
Children receive a sucker for each activity they complete. After four suckers they can trade them in for a stuffed animal. Contest winners can win $25 gift cards donated by local feed and country store sponsors, including Mead Clark Lumber, Frizelle Enos Feeds, Garrett Ace Hardware-Windsor, Bataeff Salvage, Rivertown Feeds, Martin Ranch Supply, Maselli & Sons, Western Farm Center, Hunt & Behrens, and Jay Palm’s.
The event will also offer live music all day during the event, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the whole event will be MC’ed by Rick Minervini, formerly known as Fiz-Nik Rick. Music will be provided in the amphitheater by The Spyralites, and on the stage by Dave Hooper, Roger Bolt & Borderline, Rob Fox, Scott Gerber and the Credo High American Music Ensemble. In addition, there will be several free activities, like taking a tour of the homestead and learning about farm animals