The 10th annual Kids Day Maricopa will feature health, safety and environmental awareness activities for children and their families at Maricopa Wells Middle School on Sept. 16.

The event is free and open to the public.

For the past decade, the event, hosted by chiropractor John Donohue and May McCarthey, has blended education and fun for area youth.

“The best things we can do is to be able to teach a kid something that could change their life or inspire them in some way,” Donohue said.

Local agencies like Be Awesome Youth Coalition, Pinal County Attorney’s Office and Pinal County Sherriff’s Office will be on-hand to discuss crime and drug prevention with families. Maricopa Police Department will offer free fingerprinting for children and a chance to meet the K9 unit.

Ak-Chin Fire will provide car seat safety checks, diabetes prevention and health awareness.

Kids will be able to view police and fire vehicles on display, as well as play on an inflatable water slide, watch karate demonstrations and listen to a performance by local singer Laura Walsh.

Free food, drink and balloons will be available.

Donahue said when the event first began, it was focused on helping Maricopa families. The event has grown to include children and parents from Ak-Chin Indian Community and surrounding cities.

Ak-Chin culture will be a highlight of the event, Donohue said, with dancing and basket-weaving lessons.

“This year we are also going to have Ak-Chin royalty come out and hopefully be able to explain to everybody what they do, the importance behind the dances they do, the culture and what each of the dances represent,” Donohue said.

Ak-Chin Chairman Robert Miguel, Maricopa Mayor Christian Price, state Sen. Steve Smith and Pinal County Supervisor Anthony Smith are scheduled to speak.

What: Kids Day Maricopa
When: Sept. 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Maricopa Wells Middle School, 45725 W. Honeycutt Ave.

This story appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.