Daytime land

“Wow, it’s Bobber!” yells an excited youngster.
“Can I have a hug?” another asks before diving between the basscot’s two fins as a circle of children form around it.
From loonie hunts to Bobber’s first birthday bash, kids were kept hopping at the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship this weekend, enjoying the new attractions at “Daytime Land.”
“Daytime Land’ was a big hit,” FFCBC chairman Gary Rogozinski said yesterday. “We had close to three hundred people for each of the magic shows.”
“We had no idea how it was going to go, and it was probably the nicest surprise,” Rogozinski added.
Bud Edwards, director of media services, said that he was most impressed this year by the increased number of children at the tournament.
“The number of families, children and infants and moms and dads was incredible,” Edwards said Monday.
“It was compliments of ‘Daytime Land’ and our ongoing commitment to having everything free, except night time entertainment,” he noted.
Hundreds of kids bustled throughout the fenced-off portion of the tournament where they ran from inflatable toys to the new sandbox, from games and magic shows to a petting zoo and birthday party.
“Daytime Land” featured a never-ending list of games and activities for children while their parents could sit down on comfortable wooden chairs and savour a moment’s rest.
Edwards wasn’t sure exactly how many children passed through “Daytime Land” but he said it was definitely more than they had expected.
“When I was there I saw 25 kids lined up for each of the inflatable toys and even more in the sandbox and at the petting zoo,” he explained. “Lisa Little said they had 300 photocopies for kids to colour at Bobber’s birthday and they ran out of a three-day supply in just two hours.
The biggest change for “Daytime Land” came when they moved the children’s section off of the asphalt and onto the grass.
“Moving the area on the grass from asphalt last year changed the whole atmosphere. We really want to thank Abitibi-Consolidated for allowing us to use that area,” Edwards added.
Next year Edwards hopes the tournament builds on their success.
“I’d like to see minimum 50 percent bigger,” he said.
In order to do so, Edwards said the tournament will need a number of additional adult volunteers to keep an eye on kids and keep “Daytime Land” running as smoothly.