Jon Austria   The Daily Times
Jon Austria The Daily Times (The Daily Times)
Farmington — From water gun fights to kissing horses and visiting vendors' booths, Kidfest offered an activity for every kids and an opportunity for local businesses and organizations to show Four Corners residents what they have to offer.

Families flocked to the eight annual Kidfest at McGee Park on Saturday.

Lakota Kauth took her 5-year-old son, Tristan, to Kidfest as a way to celebrate her 26th birthday.

"I wanted to do something with my son," Kauth said.

Kauth said there aren't a lot of activities a 26 year old and a 5 year old can do together.

Tristan's favorite activity was the bungee jump trampoline.

"It bungees up and down," Tristan said.

Hailey Baker and Halei Doyle attended Kidfest together. They both enjoyed the bouncy houses provided by Big Bounce.

"I liked painting a picture," Baker said.

Doyle enjoyed the candy, especially the cotton variety.

Kidfest featured numerous water games. Fire trucks sprayed children and the kids were given the opportunity to operate small fire hoses, spraying other kids who were running in and out of the water. Bloomfield Police Athletic League set up water gun alley, complete with an obstacle course the children could run through. Members of the police department stood at one end, filling up their water guns and aiming it at the children. At one point, one of them grabbed the hose and squirted the children.

"We're just having fun with the kids," said Eric Stovall, a member of the police department.

Various booths had animals waiting to meet the children. The most unusual of these booths was Spider Burrow, a Bloomfield pet shop that focuses on arachnids.

Donavon Klipsch from Spider Burrow showed off Jethro, a female tarantula, to a small crowd of kids. Some of the braver children allowed Jethro to crawl over their arms.
Jon Austria   The Daily Times
Jon Austria The Daily Times (The Daily Times)

"We're trying to spread the word that tarantulas aren't as mean and scary as people think they are," Klipsch said.

Klipsch said he has had around 500 people hold Jethro and she has never once acted aggressive.

In addition to having a booth, Spider Burrow also gave a demonstration using Jethro.

Other booths offered information about health care. San Juan County Health Partners pediatricians had a booth set up where they offered blood pressure screenings and free advice.

Dr. Mike Rankin said sometimes families haven't found pediatricians for their children yet. A receptionist at the booth set up appointments for these families.
Jon Austria   The Daily Times
Jon Austria The Daily Times (The Daily Times)

Rankin said it is important for children to receive yearly well-child check ups so that doctors can monitor their development. While most of the purpose behind well-child check ups is preventive medicine, the check-ups also ensure that the children receive their vaccines.

Another booth handed out plastic graduation caps and fill-in diplomas as a way to encourage children to go to college. The booth featured a board with pegs sticking out. Children were encouraged to put a token at the top and drop it, allowing it to bounce from peg to peg until it landed on an image at the bottom. This image would tell the kids what they are going to be when they grow up.

For Michael Tikell, 13, the token stopped on the image of a computer programmer, which is what he wants to be.

"I like to do things on the computer," he said. "It's where I feel most comfortable."

Hannah Grover covers arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and Follow her on Twitter @hmgrover.