Kids Night Out kicks off with School’s Out
By Mike Cook
Las Cruces Bulletin
Project Mainstreet’s Kids Night Out program returns with “School’s Out for Summer” from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, the first of six monthly events that will take place in Downtown Las Cruces. Admission is free to kids and their parents.
The program includes stickhorse riding, sponsored by Horse N Hound Feed N Supply, with haybail racetrack equipment provided by Tractor Supply; a free book giveaway by COAS Bookstore; food trucks (including the Green Chile Paddy Wagon, Luchador, 138 Sandwiches, Happy Dog Party Animals Entertainment), with menus “written and designed to fit the kids;” arts and crafts; face painting and glitter tattoos; a kids’ dance performance; entertainment from local children’s theatre groups and dance studios; (middle school band Pink Pandas will provide live entertainment on June 11); science activities sponsored by local museums; balloon twisting; shaved ice; and booths from local sponsors.
Kids Night Out is “a night for the kids,” Mainstreet Chairman Russ Smith said. “It’s their world we want to come alive.” Smith is the principal organizer of Kids Night Out, which has more than a dozen sponsors downtown and throughout Las Cruces.
“Project Mainstreet has learned a lot about Kids Night Out through parents,” Smith said. Parent comments have included, “Please, do this again,” “Can we do every week?” “We love getting kids out of the house in a social environment,” he said. “These are the words and ambitions from parents trying hard to give a rewarding summer experience,” Smith said.
“Project Mainstreet is a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide opportunities for families to come to downtown Main Street for free and fun family events,” said Project Mainstreet member Janet Beatty-Payne, who is also president of the board of Las Cruces Community Theatre. “Last June we did our first Kids Night Out and it was such a well-attended, fun family event, that this year we are going to do four Kids Night Out events, all with different themes,” she said. Beatty- Payne and her husband, Patrick Payne, own the Green Chile Paddy Wagon.
Here is the complete schedule of Project Mainstreet programs in downtown Las Cruces through the end of 2016 (all events are 5 to 8 p.m. and are on
June 11: Kids Night Out: School’s Out for Summer
July 9: Kids Night Out: Water Fun! (wear clothes to get wet in)
Aug. 13: Back to School/ Career Night
Sept. 10: Kid’s Comic- Con Night (kids/families encouraged to come in costume)
Oct. 22: Zombie Walk
Dec. 31: Las Cruces Chile Drop (New Year’s Eve celebration) “Project Mainstreet is a group of volunteers looking to promote Downtown Mainstreet in Las Cruces with community-centered events,” according to the Facebook page.
“Main Street will be changing in the future,” Smith said. “The new civic plaza will play a role in our planning. The downtown corridor will be changing. Anything we apply now to the Main Street night scene will easily adjust to the new environment. We want to continue lighting up the night.”
For more information on Kids Night Out, visit www.facebook.com/Project- MainstreetLC or contact Russ Smith at 6408283 or russhbs@yahoo. com.