Alexis and Ciara Condon had their game faces on Thursday.
You kind of have to when you’re getting your face painted — Alexis as a rabbit and Ciara as a puppy.
Hundreds of children flooded Philipsburg for activities such as face painting, plinko and bird feeder arts and crafts at the annual Heritage Days festival, which ends Sunday.
Most of the kids seemed to have stopped in Front and Centre Productions’ studio to get an animal, superhero or object drawn on their face. FCP executive director Stephen Switala said they could get about 250 children on their busiest day this week.
“Spider-Man has always been big and the butterflies, too,” he said. “They can get challenging, though. We get a lot of SpongeBob requests, and those are difficult. Sometimes an older kid or two stop in and want something more elaborate like skulls and bones.”
Alexis and Ciara’s mother, Jamie Condon, of Morrisdale, said the girls never miss a chance to get their faces painted.
“We come here at least once each year, and this is what they want,” Jamie Condon said. “Anywhere we go if there is face painting we have to stop and do it.”
Dawn Kyler’s three children also stopped for the face painting, but said they’re most looking forward to Saturday’s Grand Parade at 2 p.m.
Kyler’s oldest, Robert, will be in the parade for a third straight year, this time with his Cub Scout pack. The younger ones, Collin and Natalie, will be on a float for their church.
“I’ve been coming my whole life for everything, the entertainment, the music, the parade, the fireworks,” Dawn Kyler, of Philipsburg, said. “We don’t miss a lot of days, because there’s always something to look forward to.”
Tatelynne Swatsworth and her cousins found things to do every time they turned around.
The children played against each other in picture bingo and plinko under Cen-Clear’s tent before they spotted the Centre County Youth Service Bureau’s stand across the street. There they made bird feeders with cereal, wire and string to hang outside.
“We try to switch it up with something new every day,” YSB outreach coordinator Matt Lower. “We keep it simple and do other things like keychains, bracelets and clothespin airplanes. It keeps the kids busy and gives us a minute to let parents know what we offer.”
Tatelynne and her cousins said they were looking forward to the parade, and her mom, Erin, had another thing on her plate.
“I’m running in the 5K to support the community, and I have a marathon coming up in Erie in August,” she said.
The Healthy Heroes 5K race, which benefits the Moshannon Valley Emergency Medical Service’s CPR education, child safety and Drug Abuse Awareness Campaign programs, begins at 8 a.m. for the walk and 9 a.m. for the run Saturday at the intersection of Locust and Front streets. Day-of registration begins at 7 a.m.
The Heritage Days festival runs through Sunday with several other marquee events along the way.