June 24, 2014

Day of play goes a long way

PLATTSBURGH — This year’s Longest Day of Play will not be held on the longest day of summer, but the festivities promise to be jam-packed with fun events to promote an active lifestyle for families.

Clinton County’s initial Longest Day of Play was held on the summer solstice a year ago as a symbolic gesture to promote how important it is for kids — and their parents — to stay active during the lengthy summer days.

Since many area schools will be in session during this summer’s longest day, the festivities have been pushed back to Friday, June 27, and will include activities at US Oval in Plattsburgh as well as several other locations in the surrounding communities.

“Everything was at the Oval last year,” said Karen Derusha, principal public-health educator for the Clinton County Health Department, which is coordinating the event. “We wanted to give people living in other areas an opportunity to participate.”

Guided walks along the Saranac River Trail, paddleboarding on the Ausable River at Baggs Landing and a disc-golf clinic at the Cadyville Disc Golf Course are just a few of the more than one-dozen activities being held at alternative sites.

The focal point of many activities will be on the Oval from noon to 4 p.m., where kids and their families can partake in such fun-filled activities as hula-hoops, Frisbee fun, Toss the Cow and martial arts programs presented by Villari’s of Plattsburgh.

“With the longer days of summer, there is more time to play, and play is healthy,” Derusha said. “The event gives us the opportunity to promote play as a physical activity.

“You don’t always have to exercise to be active,” she added. “When you play, you have fun, but you are also being active.”

Activities on the base are geared toward toddlers up to 12, but they are also designed so parents can participate and enjoy the fun of being active.

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