EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
Grant VanCleve, 5, Marinette, throws a pass after some pointers from Tim Boyle, second-string Green Bay Packer quarterback Wednesday at Family Fun Night in Menominee. The event is sponsored by the Menominee Recreation Department. Dakota Khollman, 8, Menominee, waits in back.
EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard

Grant VanCleve, 5, Marinette, throws a pass after some pointers from Tim Boyle, second-string Green Bay Packer quarterback Wednesday at Family Fun Night in Menominee. The event is sponsored by the Menominee Recreation Department. Dakota Khollman, 8, Menominee, waits in back.

<
1
2
>

MENOMINEE — Hundreds of people turned out Wednesday night at Great Lakes Memorial Marina Park for the Menominee Recreation Department’s tenth Family Fun Night. Many who attended described it as a “mini-Waterfront Festival” open to whoever wanted to come down. Many parents and grandparents came with their kids, some just brought a friend or two along, and some even brought their dogs.

The event started off at 6 p.m. and ended at about 8 p.m. The evening culminated in a screening of “Incredibles 2” in the Bandshell at dusk.

According to recreation assistant MacKenzie King, the event had 35 total sponsors. Farmers and Merchants Bank and Trust had a few bean bag toss boards set up, giving prizes to kids who could make a hole-in-one. Jack’s Fresh Market was giving away free hot dogs to whoever stopped by for one. Members of the U.S. Navy were helping to give the hot dogs out for a while, as well as playing some of the games with the kids. Stephenson National Bank & Trust had a massive roll of paper that would become a kid-made mural by the end of the event, featuring what each kid was saving their money for.

The center of the park was set up as a larger game area sponsored by Cellcom. Kids were able to play Tug of War, giant Jenga, Connect Four, have their pictures taken with cutouts of characters from the “Incredibles” movies, and a wide variety of other games. After finishing the games, the kids won tickets that could be exchanged for prizes.

Each year, Family Fun Night has a theme based on the movie that is picked for the screening at the end of the evening. This year, the event’s theme revolved around superheroes. One of the more unique games in the game area reflected the theme quite well: Three tall boxes, decorated to look like skyscrapers, were positioned a set distance away from the kids, and action figures resembling supervillains were set up on top of the skyscrapers. The kids had to take bean bags with different superhero logos, such as Captain America’s iconic shield or The Flash’s lightning bolt insignia, and knock the bad guys off of the buildings.

A lot of kids gave it a shot and a lot of them were able to do it, but some were content to throw their bean bags at the skyscrapers themselves, knocking them over. They did get the bad guys off the buildings, after all.

Keeping with the superhero theme, on the north end of the park police officers, firefighters and rescue squad all had their vehicles parked with their lights turned on, giving kids a chance to explore their vehicles and see what kinds of gadgets real-world superheroes use on a daily basis.

On the south end of the park, Bellin Health had their “Training Zone” set up. They had a short series of football-themed games and had the kids dress up in shoulder pads, helmets and Packer jerseys to complete them. They had a long jump, a 40-yard dash, and a throwing net set up. To top it all off, they got a chance to meet Tim Boyle, the back-up quarterback for the Packers.

“The Packers reached out to me; I knew I was going to be around and they asked if I wanted to help encourage some kids through an obstacle course,” Boyle said, “I love being around kids, and I love helping people reach their full potential.”

Boyle said he really enjoys the Menominee area, and said he’d definitely come back if he were to be invited again. “I love that it’s right on the water, and I’m surprised there are so many Packer fans, since you’re in Michigan. It’s a beautiful area.”

One of the more popular activities was a ping-pong ball toss. A large, wooden pavilion was set up with a set of planks over a large tarp some distance from the edges. Small fish bowls were lined up on the planks, and kids lined up around the outside of the pavilion trying to get a ball into one of the fish bowls. If someone managed to do it, they’d win a stuffed fish. All throughout the evening there was a pretty sizeable crowd around this area.

One of those in the crowd was Kara Kirschner of Menominee and her daughter Olive. She said the fish bowl game was Olive’s favorite part of the day. This is also their first year at Family Fun Night. “We would’ve definitely come to more if we’d known about it,” she said.

The fish bowl game was also a favorite of Madelyn and Brooklyn Mosey of Menominee, who were there with their dad Aaron Mosey. They made it to the park at around 6:30 p.m., so they were there for most of the evening. He said that his wife Jess has taken the girls in the past so this something they’ve done before, but this was his first time coming. Apart from the fish bowl game, Madelyn was particularly excited about playing in the bounce houses.

Katelyn Mackay has been coming for the past few years with her kids. “My oldest is six, so we’ve been coming as long as I’ve known about it,” she said. One of the highlights for her was the fact that everything was done free of charge, which has been a highlight for her in past years as well. “And there’s also so many different activities, the games and the sports; it’s hard to get them interested in stuff like that, but if they see other people doing it they want to try,” she said.