Kayla Burton ran from the face-painting tent to show Wanda Davis, her “GaGa,” the Mickey Mouse that had been painted on Kayla’s arm at Riverview Park on Saturday.
Meanwhile, her older sister Lily was having a blue butterfly painted on her face.
The girls’ family had come to the SpringFest following 8-year-old Lily’s softball game on opening day for the recreation department’s spring sports season.
Lily’s team, the Tigers, had just beaten the Angels 2-0. Lily said face-painting was her favorite part of the spring festival.
Her game was one of dozens played throughout the day by teams of softball and baseball players ages 12 and younger.
“Opening day has been a tradition for probably 30 years,” said Karl Waldhauer, superintendent of the North Augusta Department of Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services.
“We decided to put (the spring festival) along with this and kind of add a little pizzazz to the opening day of youth baseball and softball.”
While teams played ball games of about two innings each, guests walked back and forth between the fields and 45 craft vendors that were set up around the playground while a roster of local bands performed throughout the event.
The city has presented a spring festival for about nine years, said event chairman John Felak. It used to be known as the Yellow Jessamine Festival, which had been moved to different locations throughout the city, including Georgia Avenue.
“The biggest event we do in the spring is the opening of spring sports,” Felak said. “We were trying to find a great identity and time frame for the spring festival and we decided to combine the two. Today it’s worked out great, so we’re really happy.”
Barbara Mohler found a breezy spot near the concession stand to wait for her grandson, Jebediah Tock, 7, to take the field.
She, her daughter, Brandy Tock, and Jebediah had already strolled over to the SpringFest and browsed the displays of jewelry, artwork and other hand-crafted items.
“They’ve got some good things over there,” Mohler said. “My daughter and I used to do craft shows before my husband passed away. They’ve got a good show here. I’m enjoying it.”