Saratoga County

Animals and fast cars appeal to families at 18th Fun Day (with photo gallery)

Despite having a 9-foot-long, 40-pound boa constrictor wrapped around her neck, 11-year-old Emily De

Despite having a 9-foot-long, 40-pound boa constrictor wrapped around her neck, 11-year-old Emily Deprey of Ballston Spa was not scared.

“It feels OK — soft,” she said. “I like animals.”

Her stepfather, Karl Kimball, said he was not surprised Emily was so calm. “It’s my little daredevil. She’s awesome,” he said.

The big snake also didn’t faze 11-year-old Dalton Benn of Burnt Hills. “I like that they wrap around your fingers,” he said.

Handler Jessica Shea brought the snake from Reptile Adventure along with turtles and some other reptiles.

The reptile display was just one of the activities held at the 18th annual Family Fun Day at the Saratoga County Fair Grounds.

In keeping with the animal theme, Chris Van Noy of Ballston Spa and his wife, Melissa, were adopting a kitten from the Saratoga County Animal Shelter, which had a display at the event.

“I’ve loved cats since I was a little girl,” she said.

They weren’t sure what they were going to name the little feline, preferring to leave that task up to Van Noy’s granddaughter. She named the last cat Captain Hook.

Reeny Milton, who works for the shelter, said the organization wanted to be part of the event to make people aware of the tremendous need for cats to be adopted. “Springtime is the kitten boom,” she said.

Those with a need for speed could check out 17-year-old Cody Sargen’s race car.

Sargen, of Greenfield, said he started racing go-karts when he was 10. For the last two years he has been racing in the NASCAR asphalt modified division at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta.

“The thrill you get going into the fourth turn before the green flag drops — there’s no other feeling like it,” he said.

Sargen signed autographs and allowed people to take photographs of his number 55 car. Young fan Alex Rejiester, 3, of Ballston got to sit in it while his mother Rachael Rejiester took a picture.

“Have you died and gone to heaven?” she asked.

Rejiester asked her son what was the best part of Fun Day. “Race car,” he said.

“The race car even beats bouncy house? Wow,” said father Benjamin Rejiester.

For now, Alex is going to have to stick to Big Wheels.

Joseph Brundige, 4, of Ballston Spa, was trying his luck riding a small toy car through an obstacle course of cones. He was able to avoid them.

“Can we do this again before we leave?” he asked.

Megan Brundige said she likes that there are a lot of activities for children.

“It’s free. It’s entertainment. It gets us out of the house.”

The event is sponsored by Ballston Spa, Ballston, Milton, the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, County Youth Bureau, Saratoga County Fair Association, Saratoga County Animal Shelter and Saratoga County Mommies.

Meg Stevens, one of the organizers, said the event is usually held on the last Sunday before July 4 as a way for the community to come out, since some people go away for Independence Day.

For the young children, there are bounce houses and games. Teenagers and adults enjoy the dancing.

“We try to have activities for a wide range of ages,” she said. “We’ve got some people who have been coming every single year.”

One of those faithful attendees was 8-year-old Steven Bowers of Ballston Spa, who has been coming to the event since he was 6 months old, according to mother Kristie Bowers.

Steven was trying his luck at the hammer bell test of strength. He swung the mallet and rang the bell on his first try.

“That’s my muscle boy,” Kristie Bowers said.

Older youths and adults were more interested in learning a dance routine to pop singer Mike Posner’s “Cooler Than Me” with the help of instructor Sue Kaupelis.

Carol Perone dances with a group called If Bubba Can Dance, You can Too!

“It’s a good social atmosphere and it’s good cardio exercise,” she said. Audrey Whittredge, 15, of Ballston Spa said she likes dancing and was enjoying the event.

“It’s a good place for families to have fun together,” she said.

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