Just about anything a young family could need will be on display Saturday at BabyFest.

This is the first year for the event, which is a fundraiser for the Family Service Association.

Susan Zody, the FSA’s marketing associate, said the idea was the brainchild of FSA Director Judy Dennis, who envisioned it as a mommy-to-be fair. From there, planners expanded to include toddlers, pregnant women, grandparents and young families.

She said making it grandparent-friendly was important because “we well know they’re the ones who spend the money.”

She expects to draw people from all over north central Indiana, from Tipton to Rochester and Logansport to Marion.

The event will be in the Kokomo Event Center, formerly known as the Johanning Civic Center. Doors open at 10 a.m., and the event runs until 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults older than 18.

Zody said the event is perfect for the FSA, because its services, which include a domestic violence shelter, Prevent Child Abuse, Healthy Families, Credit Counseling Services and others, are focused on building stronger families.

“People don’t understand what FSA is,” she said. “We’re finally affiliating our name with an event that reflects who we are.”

It also is an opportunity to raise money to fund those programs, especially the shelter, which provides housing, food, utilities and other services to its residents.

The event will include classes, contests, giveaways, vendor booths with baby, toddler and maternity products, pre-natal and breastfeeding classes, photographers, children’s clothing and many others.

Hourly events include diaper derbies to see who the fastest crawlers are, breastfeeding seminars, style shows featuring maternity and children’s clothing, and others.

Zody said two nurseries will be displayed, and those attending may vote for their favorite, at $1 per vote. One winning vote ticket will be drawn at the end of the day to award a free nursery.

Nurseries will be designed by Cheryl Dillman of Inspirational Designs and Tony and Wendy Lialli of Casa Bella Designs.

Dr. Lauren Dungy-Poythress, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, will speak about pre-term labor and conduct a question-and-answer session.

Zody said there will be activities for young children, including a Discovery Toys play area and toddler karaoke, where children can earn prizes by singing.

Nursing stations will be provided by LaLeche League, and certified instructors from AAA will give instruction on proper installation of car seats.

“This is a fun event for new moms, babies, grandparents and young families,” Zody said.

Danielle Rush may be reached at (765) 454-8585 or via e-mail at danielle.rush@kokomotribune.com



If you go:

• What: BabyFest

• Where: Kokomo Event Center

• When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday

• Cost: Admission is $3 for adults older than 18

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