Though dark clouds threatened rain on Saturday morning, children were walking with arms full of toys and faces full of smiles at the Mission Plaza in downtown San Luis Obispo – all thanks to the work of six Cal Poly students.

Called Children’s Day In The Plaza, the event has been put on for 29 years. Each year, six psychology majors take on the planning of the event as their senior project.

The goal of the event was for children and their families to have fun and acquire knowledge of the community resources available to them, said Michelle Von Bauer, psychology senior and publicity chair for the event.

This year, the students were able to get businesses and organizations to sponsor 79 booths with everything from face painting, to playing with slime, to sexual assault victim education, a petting zoo, and the typical inflatable attractions: the giant slide and the obstacle course.

Dillyn Barbosa, 5, had his face painted to look like Spiderman. When asked what he was most excited about, he said, “Want to know what I’m excited about? I like tigers!” Luckily for Barbosa, a Tigger mascot was at the event, as well as Winnie the Pooh, McGruff the Crime Dog, Smokey the Bear and an NBC peacock.

Other entertainment at the event included Irish dancing, a magic show and gymnastics.

Von Bauer said that the students who organized Children’s Day in the Plaza only had three to four months to do so, which is less than others had.

During spring break, Jennifer Howard, psychology senior and booth coordinator for the event, put in 50 hours of work, Von Bauer said.

Funding for Children’s Day In The Plaza is provided by donations from local businesses. “The businesses were awesome this year,” Von Bauer said.

Carol Capito, child care planning coordinator for the Child Care Planning Council, oversees the students’ work on the event.

“Carol was like our mother hen,” Von Bauer said.

The other psychology student planners for the event included event chair Danielle Martin, co-chair Katie Harrison, and senior Cara Miller, who was in charge of entertainment.

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