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Carnival brings Super Bowl fun to Hall County
Sierra Wainer, 7, colors her Pittsburgh Steelers pennant Saturday afternoon at the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center during the Gainesville Parks and Leisure Department's Annual Super Bowl Carnival.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday, but families got a head start on the fun Saturday at the third annual Super Bowl Carnival held by Hall County Parks and Leisure.

The carnival was held at the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center. It included a variety of youth activities, including arts and crafts, contests, food and drinks.

“We’ve got a little bit of everything,” said Katie Nuckolls the organizer of the event. “This is just a way for the kids to get excited for the Super Bowl.”

In arts and crafts activities geared toward the game, kids made pendants for their favorite team. Door prizes were awarded to kids and adults. Football wasn’t the only sport celebrated, as basketball and soccer activities were offered as well.

This event is held each year by Parks and Leisure on Super Bowl weekend.

“It may be something we start offering more than once a year,” said Nuckolls. “It will be the same activities with a different name."

“It’s just a good family activity for the parents to come and play with their kids.”

The struggling economy makes the low-cost event ($3 for kids, adults free) an attractive option for parents.

“I think it’s beneficial ... we try to keep this event low cost every year,” said Nuckolls.

Phyllis Wainer brought her two grandchildren, Sierra and Devon Wainer, to the carnival.

“We’ve been here before. We came to the one last year,” Wainer said. “They had a lot of fun.”

She said she looks for inexpensive events for her grandchildren, including the fishing programs Hall County Parks and Leisure offers.

Sierra, 7, and Devon, 8, both enjoyed the carnival. Sierra said she enjoyed the game where she could throw or kick a little football to the touchdown line.

“I like all of it,” Devon said.

Grandmother Phyllis said she enjoys ”the variety of activities they have for them.”

Eileen Murray, a teacher at the Magic Years of Learning preschool and child care center near Brenau University in Gainesville, brought her two children, Sarah-Joy, 11, and Micah, 6, to the carnival.

“The way the economy is I invited the whole pre-K,” said Eileen. “We are trying to find things for the pre-K to go to This is an excellent activity for our kids to come to. This is great for any age.”

Parents joined in all of the activities with their kids. There were even toys for toddlers to play on.

“As a teacher and a mother, if we can be enthusiastic about a game on the television, we can show our children enthusiasm in what we do when we play with them, then they in turn will see that enthusiasm and return the same thing,” Murray said.

Parents were doing just that at the carnival, playing with them and cheering for them in all of their activities.

“I just like to watch all of the kids play,” Nuckolls said. “It’s fun to watch them interact together.”