Main Street in front of the Eagles building was closed to traffic. Youngsters took train rides, took turns in a jumping tent and fished for prizes in a duck pond.
They also gazed at local patrol cars and a fire truck parked on Main Street, and met with local officers.
Saturday's event, sponsored by the Eagles' Auxiliary and its Grand Aerie, however, wasn't designed solely to be fun and games.
Before children could participate in the carnival, they first had to visit booths set up inside the Eagles building.
"We want to bring the kids in and have them visit each of six stations we have set up inside," said Gerri Dooley, president of the Vermillion Eagles Auxiliary.
Those stations included:
- Information on the DARE program presented by the Clay County Sheriff's Department.
- Facts on child abuse and prevention sponsored by the Vermillion Police Department.
- Health and wellness tips provided by Vermillion's Hy-Vee food store.
- Insight on the dangers of hypothermia presented by the Clay County Extension office.
- Wellness education facts provided by Sanford Vermillion Medical Center.
- Diabetes education provided by Choice Pharmacy.
"We're setting this up as a matching grant," said Gerri. "Whatever money we bring in, our Grand Aerie will be matching, and the funds will go to our local DARE program through the sheriff's department; and funding will also go to the police department for their efforts for child protection and to stop child abuse.
"Everything that we're doing here has all been donated by the community, and basically everything that we accomplish today will all be coming back to the community for the kids," she said, "and for scholarships and other things."
By the middle of Saturday, 150 children had participated in the carnival. Gerri estimated that, counting parents, close to 400 people had stopped by the event by 3 p.m. that day.
"When the kids visit a station, they get a stamp on a passport," she said. "When the passport is full, they get to turn it in at the building's entrance where they signed in, and they get a wristband and they get to go out to visit the fire engine, the ambulance, the police cars, and the carnival.
"We've gotten a lot of positive feedback from the parents, too," Gerri said.