One year ago, we were blessed with 80 degree temperatures on St. Patrick’s Day. It was an extremely warm day for March in Northeast Indiana. This year, we were not as fortunate as below-average, near freezing temperatures and a stiff breeze graced the day. A holiday of green also featured some blue this year. Blue as in frozen hands. Regardless of the temps, our volunteer experience was enjoyable and the excitement of St Patty’s Day never wavered.
The Get Green Fest is a day of fun with family, friends, and Fort Wayne Professional Firefighters. For eleven years, the festival has entertained thousands in our community. All of the proceeds raised from the event are used to support local charities and scholarships. Great activities like the 5-Kilt Run/Walk, a parade, the river greening, beer tent, and a kids’ zone make the festival a great way to spend St. Patrick’s Day.
Our task as volunteers was to manage and monitor that activities inside the Kid’s Zone. Two bounce houses and an inflatable jousting arena were set up for the enjoyment of all ages. Even on a very chilly day, children removed their shoes and jumped around until a parent pulled them out. A huge smile appeared on the face of each and every child. That sight alone made the cold hands, the red cheeks, and the runny nose well worth it. The positive interactions with the children, and their parents, is what it was all about.
I am very proud of the girls. They endured the cold weather and help out with a smile. They both made a comment about our homeless friends. If they can eat, sleep, and live in these conditions, we cannot complain about a few hours. I agree with them. We have to keep perspective when we face things that seem uncomfortable. Things are not as bad as we often believe them to be. We enjoyed our volunteer experience at the Get Green Fest and we are looking forward to next year’s event. Hopefully it will not be such a cold day in a bounce house.