Bounce Fest brings smiles to kids

Laila Hickman, 9, at left and Madalynn Ruths, 6, race each other down a blowup slide at Bounce Fest, which was held at the Admiral Coontz Armory in Hannibal on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. The event had about 15 bounce castles along with a dance floor and treats for children to enjoy.
By Hannibal Courier-Post
Posted: Feb. 11, 2020 2:00 pm

HANNIBAL | Children of all ages were bouncing and laughing as the fifth Bounce House brought a variety of bounce castles and two obstacle courses along with a treat area to the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center on Saturday.

Andrew Romano, owner of Mr. Wizard's Bouncing Castles, enjoys the chance to bring the various bounce castles and courses out so kids can come out and burn off some energy when the winter weather and snow have made outdoor activities more difficult. He said the bounce castles would normally be sitting idle this season, but the event has become a growing tradition during winter in Hannibal.

“I think what it really boils down to is in the winter time, the kids get cooped up in the house. There's not a lot of places for them to go to have this kind of fun,” Romano said. “So that's really where all of this came from is 'how we do we get the kids out of the house. How do we get them some exercise.' These (bounce castles) are sitting in the garage in the winter time, so what better way to get the kids out of the house and burn off some winter energy.”

Kupcakes Bakery had sweet treats on hand, and Mobile Entertainer provided music and a light show as children danced nearby. The assortment of bounce attractions included a 20-foot slide and obstacle courses on each side that had lines of smiling boys and girls ready to make the ascent or make it past the obstacles. In the Kids and Toddlers Zone, children and their parents enjoyed the bounce castles and slides sized just right for them.

Shelby Brown and Daylan Brown accompanied their daughters, Emery, 4, and Paisley, 2. They come every year, and Shelby Brown said the event is a great way to have fun when the weather is cold.

“It's during the winter time, and you can't play outside when there's snow on the ground, so it's really nice to bring them to burn some energy off,” she said. “They get cabin fever really easily.”

Emery said she enjoyed the slides most of all, and the red and blue slides were her favorites. Over at the obstacle course, Shane Anderson and Laura Anderson were visiting Bounce Fest for the first time with their children, Elijah, 4, and Vaughn, 3 months.

Elijah was jumping with excitement and said he was having a great time as he prepared to go through the obstacle course, which was his favorite of part of the festival. He visited three of the bounce houses with his father, while his mother and brother were close by looking on.

“This is really a good thing for Hannibal,” Shane Anderson said. His wife agreed.

She said Vaughn woke up from a nap when he heard the music, but he was contentedly looking around and watching everyone bounce up and down and slide. She noted with a smile that “he's not bouncing yet.”

“It's pretty cool, it's the first time we've been,” Lauren Anderson said, motioning toward Elijah. “He seems to be enjoying himself.”



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