Mile of family fun planned Saturday

Auburn Family Night Out offers free admission
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal features editor
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Consider Downtown Auburn a blank canvas this Saturday. The 10th annual Chalk-a-Lot! art contest is one among many attractions planned during the 12th annual Auburn Family Night Out, which takes place 5-9 p.m. Saturday in Downtown Auburn. This summer party features free admission and nearly a mile of activities and entertainment sure to delight the whole family. “We watch kids grow up through this event because it’s in its 12th year,” said Linda Robinson, one of the event’s coordinators. “It’s fun to watch them come back and enjoy it in a different way.” The idea behind the chalk contest is simple — kids ages 3-11 check in by 5:15 p.m. at the Union Bank parking lot on High Street. You get 30 minutes, from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., to create an all-ages-appropriate masterpiece in a 3-foot-by-3-foot square. Judging begins at 6:15 p.m. and awards are given at 6:30 p.m. The chalk contest has long been a favorite for the younger crowd but this year everyone’s invited to chalk it up. A new teen-and-adult version of the chalk art contest for everyone 12 and older takes place in front of Auburn City Hall, 1225 Lincoln Way. “My daughter and I went to a San Francisco festival, saw the chalk and thought, ‘We can do this,’” said Terry Masten, a longtime Auburn Family Night Out volunteer. Whether or not you’re feeling artistic, be sure to pick up an Auburn Family Night Out passport, which is not only your guide for the evening but also gives you a chance to win prizes at the end of the night, Robinson said. Auburn Family Night Out features 20 locations — attractions include a safety fair, petting zoo, bounce house, bumper cars, face painting, games and more — and eight stamp sites. Pick up a passport at any of the 20 sites — they’ll be numbered — and once you’ve made the rounds and collected eight stamps, drop the completed passport off at the Auburn Family Night Out booth in Central Square. A drawing takes place at 9 p.m. for prizes including an Auburn Recreation District swim pass, cooking classes and various gift cards and baskets. Robinson said Auburn Family Night Out, which is always held on the longest Saturday of the year, typically draws 4,000 to 5,000 people. “It’s a great feeling to see families come through,” she said. __________ Auburn Family Night Out When: 5-9 p.m. Saturday Where: Downtown Auburn Cost: Free admission Information: (530) 888-1585