In June 11 IssueBy Kim GrahamTimes Journal Reporter
Beautiful, temperate spring weather and thousands of trout waiting to be caught, brought out a record crowd last Saturday to the 23rd annual Kids' Catch a Rainbow fishing derby at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery (WCNFH).
Attendance was estimated at about 4,000 total attendees with 1,675 kids entered in the derby vying for a chance to hook the big one and take home a trophy.
"I think everything went extremely well," said James Gray, WCNFH Project Leader. "The weather was nice and everyone really enjoyed themselves."
Just for participating, kids age 1 to 15 received a t-shirt, a goody bag filled with chewing gum, posters and activity books, and a cool outdoor related prize such as a rod and reel, tent or sleeping bag.
Any trout caught, were kept in cooler bags to take home and enjoy later at a family meal.
In each age division, one child was awarded a trophy for catching the largest fish. The 9-10 year old group had a tie at the fish weigh in and two kids received trophies for their sizable catches.
From registration to every prize, trophy, hotdog, water and soda or other snack; everything is completely free to all who attend.
In all, about $40,000 in donations, goods and services were given to make this free to the public event possible.
"We cooked 3,400 hotdogs, cotton candy, popcorn and served $1,500 of soda and water," Gray said.
Numerous sponsors and more than 100 volunteers contribute to presenting this ever growing event to the community and to those who plan their vacations around Kids Catch a Rainbow.
Some families travelled from Cincinnati, OH to begin their summer vacation at Lake Cumberland with the fishing derby.
Already, the Catch a Rainbow website guestbook has entries from folks who enjoyed this year with plans to attend next year.
"This was the first year we were at the fishing derby and it was so much fun!" said Nickie from Lima, Ohio. "The kids are ready to go back next year!"
Some attendees who signed the guestbook are planning to make the event a family tradition.
"We had so much fun today," said Nicole L. "Our family has attended two years in a row now, and we have decided to make this a tradition. Thank you so much for the wonderful family event!"
Even the indoor attractions and exhibits of the education and visitor center at the hatchery were on high demand during the event. The visitor center boasted a record 1,700 people through the facility during Catch a Rainbow.
In all, the event provided something for every member of the family.
"We had the FLW boat simulator, archery shooting, Smokey Bear, Ronald McDonald, and Goldie the hatchery's goldfish mascot," said Gray. "The weather was great and the event was enjoyed by young and old alike."
For more information about Kids' Catch a Rainbow check out their website at www.catcharainbow.com.