Hannah Dolan and Coleman Sertich, age 3, enjoy some lollipops at Walpole Day after their soccer game.
By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
With summer on the horizon, Walpole Day seemed to fall on the perfect day this year. With the sun shining and the warm weather, residents flocked to Stone Field outside Blackburn Hall to celebrate their town in a community-wide event that left parents, kids, and everyone in between happy and excited.
Kids were especially excited to enjoy the many different bounce houses and blow-up obstacle courses. One parent tried to keep up with excited kids, who were running from spot to spot. “They’ve had ice cream for lunch,” she said, before running after them.If they could spare a few minutes, many parents and teenagers took time to eat lunch at the picnic tables or on picnic blankets in the spacious field while listening to a live band. With multiple food trucks selling everything from cheesy pizza to chicken and fries to sausages and hot dogs, and even one boasting fresh barbecue, there was something for everyone. The most popular of the food vendors was Grandy’s Ice Cream Truck, which perpetually sported a line that stretched across the picnic area. For many, it was the first ice cream of the season - a celebrated treat for the first warm day of the season.
Other vendors took the time to raise money for a good cause. The Walpole Swim Team raised money by hosting their annual duck race. For five dollars per rubber ducky, a person would be assigned a duck that would participate in a race at the nearby Memorial Pond. People who passed by the pond stopped in awe to observe the giant blob of yellow floating duckies, prior to the beginning of the race. Those who bought a duck had the chance to win $1,000 if their assigned duck crossed the finish line first - an exciting prospect for everyone.Maddie, age 5, and her mom, Jenny, took a brief snack break after enjoying the day’s activities. This was her third Walpole Day celebration. “The animal play thing,” was her favorite thing to do during the celebration.
“It’s the smaller bounce house for the younger kids,” her mom translated. As she and her mom enjoyed their break, Maddie’s dad held their spot for face painting.
Maddie knew exactly what she wanted painted on her face: “A unicorn!” she exclaimed.
Individuals just walking into Walpole Day could see the towering figures of meet-and-greet characters. The most recognizable was a Pikachu Pokémon. Children seemed to get a big kick out of one particularly large, horned character - though most people couldn’t seem to figure out what it was. “I think it’s from ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’” one parent reasoned.
Despite not knowing if it was from a popular television show or book, children flocked to the towering creature, running to take pictures with him. “Ya, ya, you come for picture!” he greeted, reminding some parents of Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster. For other kids, the creature was a bit scary. “It’s okay, we don’t have to hug,” he assured them. When kids were not trying to get pictures with him, the creature and his fellow performers wandered around the celebration, making kids and adult laugh at his antics.
A bubble performer also proved popular. With a gigantic wand, she crossed the field, followed by crowds of kids trying to pop the huge bubbles she made. One young girl asked for her dad to hold her up so she could pop a bubble herself. Just as was one was passing over her head, she reached up and popped it, leaving both she and her dad giggling.
“I’m going to need some more bubble juice,” the performer said, before reloading her container and resuming her duties.
With all the bounce houses, music, food, and characters - and even a chance to win $1,000 - visitors of Walpole Day left the celebration feeling joyous. For parents, it was a good way to tire out their kids before celebrating Mother’s Day on Sunday. For kids, it was a great time to spend with friends, enjoy some fun activities, and get all the excessive energy out after being cooped up all winter.