BROOKFIELD – For Patricia Nicholson, the annual homecoming celebration in Brookfield is a “jewel.”
She’d already taken her five-year-old grandson, Lennex Robinson, to the kids and youth sports event on Monday, and was found on the bleachers at Elk Park on Thursday for Chuckerball.
“I’m a grammie that wants her grandson to be very active in sports,” she said while Lennex played baseball with more than 20 other local youth. “They’ve got great children’s skills, the people here. The kids have fun but are active, and it’s a nice way for them to learn some skills.”
She has Lennex enrolled in Chuckerball this year because she missed enrolling him in soccer and other sports. Chuckerball, already a weekly offering, was included in the week-long Coming Home to Brookfield event.
“(Homecoming) is like a jewel. It’s fun and open to everybody. The whole philosophy is wonderful and it’s very inclusive. There really is something for everyone.”
On Thursday night, the Hilden resident planned on taking Lennex to the 4-H petting farm and the family movie night. On Saturday, she may even take Lennex to the waterslides, and, if she’s lucky, the one-kilometer kids run.
“He can run like the wind and I would like to see him in it,” she said.
For Lennex and two dozen other children, Chuckerball started with a game of ‘Red Light, Green Light’ and other warm-ups before heading into a small game of softball. They then played ‘Brookfield Bulldog,’ followed by a relay game full of twists and turns.
“This really helps them develop social skills,” the grandmother said. “He’s so active and he doesn’t know he’s little. He tries just as hard as the bigger kids.”
And Lennex’s energy was apparent when he had some orange juice to refuel, something that took him mere seconds before he was up and racing again.
As one of the organizers of the annual event, Judy Matheson was excited to see more people out to all the activities.
“I think our numbers are up a little this year. I’ve met a lot of strangers, but to me that’s a good thing,” she said. “It’s a chance to meet so many new people and to get involved in new things.”
She attributed the turnout to some sunny weather for the majority of the week, and said about 600 people were out to last Saturday’s parade.
There were a few new activities this year, such as a farmers’ market following the parade.
“That was huge and worth repeating. A lot of people that came for the parade stuck around for the farmers’ market. We had a lot of people asking if we would be doing that again.”
Another new activity was a soapbox derby for children five to 12, however, there were requests to include an adult division next year.
“People really seem to be enjoying themselves, and enjoying the new events,” Matheson said.
Homecoming continues until Sunday.