SCOTTSBLUFF — For the 20th year, the Star-Herald is bringing a favorite event back to the community. KidzExplore will be held on Oct. 19 at Monument Mall.
This year, the Star-Herald is partnering with Monument Mall and Team Chevrolet for the event. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
It will be the second year that the event has been held at Monument Mall, and the second time that admission has been free, Connie Ernest, marketing director at the Star-Herald, said.
“Lat year, we wanted to spruce things up a little so we moved it to Monument Mall. We thought we would give it a try and the response was overwhelming. It was our largest KidzExplore ever.”
An estimated 50 nonprofits and vendors have signed up for the event and will bring informative and interactive activities. Vendors will sell everything from cotton candy to kitchen ware.
“Adults can enjoy the event because they can shop while their children play,” Ernest said.
During KidzExplore, kids can pretend that they work at a garage, fixing on cars, in the U-Fix-It garage, sponsored by Team Auto Center. They can also learn about archery and shooting, with portable ranges brought by Cabela’s/Bass Pro and Nebraska Game and Parks. Home Depot will have a building activity, also a popular event with the kids.
Prizes are also going to be given out during the event. The first 100 kids walking through the main doors - the double doors located near Applebee’s - will receive a knapsack from Cabela’s/Bass Pro. The second 100 kids will receive a grab bag, filled with swag, from Monument Mall.
The giving doesn’t stop there. Ernest said that the Star-Herald has worked with Walmart and others to gather prizes, such as bicycles, that will be drawn throughout the day.
Kids love to visit with “hometown heroes,” local law enforcement, firefighters and pilots from Air Link, who attend the event.
“Air Link is really popular because it is fun for the kids to see the helicopter,” Ernest said. “We do not always get to see Air Link up close, unless its an emergency.”
The Scotts Bluff County SWAT team often brings its robots and other gear, which kids enjoy seeing up front.
Visits from Groot, Western Nebraska Pioneers’ mascot Hiram, and even Mader and Lightning McQueen are also planned.
At 3 p.m., Reel Lux will show a movie, with just a $1 entry fee. The movie will be announced prior to the event.
“We have to say thank you to all of the sponsors, the not-for-profit organizations and the vendors, she said. “If not for them, this event wouldn’t be so successful.”
Limited space for additional vendors is still available.
For information about being involved with KidzExplore, contact Ernest. 308-632-9036.