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Ligonier Valley YMCA expands 'Kids Korner' venue

| Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 9:04 p.m.

The Ligonier Valley YMCA will once again play host Kids Korner in the building's side yard beginning 9 a.m. each day of the Fort Ligonier Days festival. The Y has been the location for the annual attraction for three years.

This year, more activities have been added to the schedule of events, according to coordinator Rachel Pavlik.

“I'm really excited this year. We have it packed at Kids Korner this year,” Pavlik said. “I have not had as many people ask about doing it before, so we are going to have a lot going on out there. The kids will have more activities to do and a lot more hands-on activities to do. I like that it is not just something where they win a prize or it's not just face painting.It's more physical activity.”

Pavlik said there will be a bounce house, inflatable games, two trampolines, aqua art, sand art, portraits, face painting and a fishpond, where children catch little plastic fish and exchange them for prizes. On parade day, Pavlik said there would also be clowns making balloon animals inside the Y.

Pavlik said she remembers Kids Korner being much smaller when she attended as a young child. She also noted that the YMCA has drawn more kids and has been able to expand Kids Korner because of the avaialble space. “We are for youth development, so we wanted to identify with that and with Kids Korner,” Pavlik stated. “People associate the Y with kids, so when we put on Kids Korner with the Y, I can only assume that being over here, because we do things with kids — we promote youth development — that it became more popular. We do it as an opportunity to get out there for kids.”

The YMCA will also house many craft vendors in the gymnasium and activity center beginning at 9 a.m. each day of the three-day festival. Vendors pay a fee to rent the space and the funds raised go toward the building's operational costs. Pavlik said the Y has made space available for the craft tables as long as she can remember, and thinks it has been a good way to bring Fort Days visitors into the Y.

“We like to be involved in the community and that is one way that we can be,” Pavlik said. “We like to get people in here, even if it's for Fort Days. We rarely close the Y, so we like to keep it open. It's something that we've always done, so we are not looking to stop it, since we have done it so long.”