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Big top circus theme for Kiddie Day Parade

Youngsters can show up to march in the 2018 Dew Days Kiddie Parade organized by Homestead Community Church in Farmington. The Porter siblings are ready to have fun dressed up as circus characters. Pictured are (left) Emma, 4; sister Olivia, 1, in the wagon; event organizer Kristie Kerr; mother Katie Porter; Bethany, 7, and Micah, 9. Kara Hildreth / contributor

This year the Farmington Dew Days Kiddie Parade hopes to become a three- ring circus.

Organizers are planning for a fun, organized, intentional circus parade—a parade with unexpected surprises and youngsters dressed as circus lions, tigers and red nosed clowns.

The parade theme is Big Top Circus. All youth are invited to come dressed up as a circus character while riding in a decorated wagon or riding a tricycle or bicycle alongside neighbors, family and friends.

Homestead Community Church in Farmington will lead the parade as event sponsor.

"Our church and one of its core values is we really want to be a part of the community and we have always had a heart to be visible, support City Hall and support the community anyway we can," said Kristie Kerr, event organizer and pastor at Homestead Community Church.

Stepping up to organize and sponsor an event was good news to Dew Days volunteers who work hard to plan and put on an entertaining summer festival that engage both veteran community members and younger families to show up.

Dew Days event chair Jake Cordes said his wishes are that the longtime Kiddie Parade would become more than just a last-minute event. He was pleased to hear this local church wanted to sponsor, plan and lead the parade.

Cordes thinks this event is one that has the power to attract new young families to travel from the north side of the city into the downtown area. This parade gives a venue for families to have fun and make memories in their children's hometown.

"We have marched in the parade and the Kiddie Parade for a few years, but this year the church wanted to step up its involvement, and we love our kids and we have a lot of kids in our church and we love creating fun experiences for them," Kerr said.

Volunteers are busy getting ready and are sharing the community event on social media. They hope community members will spread the word to let neighbors know to participate or be spectators and cheer on the youth circus.

"Farmington is a growing community with young families who live in these developments and we think this will really appeal to kids, and we wanted to see it step up another level and we are excited to step into that role this year," Kerr said.

Big Top Kids is Homestead church's youth outreach branding and the volunteers thought this could be a natural parade theme as volunteers even created a parade logo.

"We are having fun with costumes and we will have a unicycle and all the kids and volunteers will be dressed up," Kerr said.

Youth will be given goody bags and prizes will be awarded for best costume and best decorated wagon or bicycle.

Celebrating its third year in Farmington, Homestead Community congregation shares a building with Faith Methodist Church located off Highway 3.

"When the church started, our vision was to be a community church and become a part to the community and we have seen it grow in three years and now we are looking for a permanent location," Kerr said.

Her husband and lead pastor, the Rev. Jeff Kerr, believes the Kiddie Parade will be a fun connecting, community event to engage young families in the Farmington community.

Jeff Kerr said, "It will be a relatively short parade route with gift bags and treats along the way, and we are excited to have people decorate their bikes, strollers, wagons and join us and all are welcome. I's going to be a great event."

If you go …

What: Kiddie Parade

When: 10 a.m. assemble; 10:30 a.m. parade, Saturday, June 16

Where: Old National Bank, 324 Oak St..

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