By Laura Sager
Last year was our first PEPSapalooza and I can’t believe I missed these when my girls were younger. But last summer I had just started doing some outreach support for PEPS in July and that meant helping out at PEPSapalooza – telling all my friends online, reaching out to local kid-friendly businesses, taking tickets at the back entrance to Everett Memorial Stadium and wearing my PEPS T-shirt for the very first time!
Because I had to get there early, we took 2 cars. It’s a very easy drive from our house and the parking was easy for my husband to find. Of course, he went in the front entrance, missing me altogether, but we were connected on our phones and I heard the girls as they rounded the corner to the stadium, “Wow! Look!”
The girls knew I had just wrapped up leading a Snohomish County Newborn Group and we had had a backyard summer party with many of the families in that group. They loved it when Addie ate a nasturtium from our garden and they knew it was an edible flower, so that Addie in her cuteness was also safe! So they also knew that I was working for PEPS, but they were unprepared for what PEPSapalooza would be. I think they were surprised by the bouncy houses and the big slide, along with all the tents and people they could see from their high vantage point.
As a family with older kids, they were ready to make the rounds of all the booths. We made cool bubble wands and kazoos that really play (we still have those). They spun wheels and answered questions to fill their pockets and my backpack with little souvenirs like pencils, hand sanitizer and sunscreen. I am not sure, but I think the toothbrush, toothpaste and floss kits may have been their favorites.
They played musical instruments and stacked soft giant blocks into towers. We jumped on the Springfree Trampoline and liked it so much, we bought one later in the year. And 2 of my girls got feathers woven into their hair – these lasted well into the school year and I felt very daring (really?) for letting them do this! We also tried Dippin Dots from the concession stand, This was particularly great because my allergic kid was able to read the label of all the ingredients, which turned out to be okay for her.
Of course we listened to the music and lounged in the big grassy field in front of the bandstand. We saw 2 of the babies from my Newborn Group, but they were no longer babies, but toddlers cruising PEPSapalooza in their stroller/backpack. But our favorite activity was the bunnies – each girl got to hold the bunnies, some with cream colored coats, some dark chocolate brown, and some spotted. The bunnies were in a soft baby blanket, and I think this year I will ask if I can hold one too!
About the Author
Laura has earned her keep writing copy around town, editing other people’s words and thinking about how we tell our stories to each other. Laura knows her commas, mostly – and admires good writing everywhere. She is an MLIS with a deep interest in books for adults and children. At home, she is the mother of 3 inspiring and demanding kids, who often finds herself overcommitted, overwhelmed, overjoyed and overslept.