The Oneida Indian Nation’s 24th Annual Kids’ Day celebration June 28 at the Ray Elm Children and Elders Center was held on a picture-perfect day for outside activities. Trains was the theme, and all of the nearly 130 attendees were encouraged to get on board!

The first stop for many kids was the face painting station on the terrace of the Center. Kids tried their hand at throwing pizza dough with Turning Stone Chef Bryan Hammond and enjoyed fresh strawberry smoothies. The obstacle course, made with a lot of pool noodles, was popular with the kids. After completing the course, they were entered into prize drawings, announced by Nation police throughout the event. Many kids ran through it well past ten times.

The staff set up a kids’ lacrosse net and basketball hoop for the older kids. Aidan Stout (Wolf Clan), only ten years old, showed the lacrosse moves he’s been working on.

“He’s only been playing a year and plays on the Onondaga Redhawks youth team,” Aidan Stout’s dad, Sam Stout said proudly. “This is our second time coming to Kids’ Day and we really enjoyed it.”

Among the other activities were train puzzles, storytelling, a photo booth and, of course, lunch with hot dogs and ice cream.

Government Programs and Services Programs Coordinator Pat Catalano, summed it up best. “It’s great when we can get all of the GP&S departments together and do something wonderful for the kids.”

Many thanks to the Nation’s Health Services, Administration, Education, Recreation, Housing (which donated bikes), Member Benefits, Shako:wi, the Madison County Sherriff’s Department and the Nation Police (which donated hot dogs and other prizes) for contributing to the success of Kids’ Day.

Photos by Alex Hamer.