Celebrating Inclusivity & Diversity with Fun & Games for Special Cherry Kids
Celebrating diversity and inclusion– The National Cherry Festival held a Special Kids Day– allowing those with special needs to feel like they had the whole festival to themselves.
“We had inflatables and face painting…They are kinda modifying rides, so if kids need extra help getting on rides, rides are slowed down. So really it’s just about getting everybody included in the national cherry festival,” says Angie Holmes.
Angie Holmes is the Event Director for the Fun & Games for Special Cherry Kids, she says she has a special place in her heart for this event.
Holmes shares, “I’m a parent of a child with special needs and often times we come to these events, they’re very hard to bring a child that has a lot of physical needs, or even just the stimulation of a big event. We can have different things that are more tailored, but also include them in cherry festival because cherry festival’s for everybody!”
“Inclusivity is important because there’s so many ways which they’re told they don’t really quite fit. You need to do it kind of off somewhere else where we don’t see you,” says parent Dan Carlson.
Jenna, a fellow Cherry Festival goer and participant in the event, says, “I’m excited it’s not going to rain today. I was disappointed for last year because we couldn’t go last year.”
Last year, rain caused them to cancel– making it the first year back after the pandemic.
“It’s like we didn’t have a pandemic, that’s what it feels like right now,” says Holmes.
“It’s always a big deal for our family. We have several kids with special needs, and I think a lot of the times there are things they can’t do. There’s always these things they want to do, but can’t and this is one of those things that’s for them,” says Carlson.