rides (“With singing, depending on the driver,” Stephenson says.). All of the country school’s animal buildings will be open to the public— including the exotic one, which Stephenson describes as the “creepy crawly building.”
“It’s got snakes and all sorts of other things that I’m not really into, but the kids love it,” she says.
The center of the farm is home to large animals, such as cows, donkeys, a mule and both mini-and regular-sized horses. Dozens of ducks and geese also wander the property, which has three lakes and miles of trails.
“The day gives people a chance to see what we do,” says the director of the country school, which provides a home to many animals that are rescued or can no longer be cared for by their owners.
Last year during the event, the Waterford Police Department performed fingerprinting for the Safe Kids program, and the regional humane society hosted a table providing information about animal adoption. Stephenson says the society brought several animals with them to reinforce the four-legged creatures’ need for new homes.
Food vendors are on hand, along with face painting for kids, sing-a-longs and animal exhibits. Stephenson usually hangs out at the welcome tent, where she can greet visitors and check in with them on their way out.
Along with the creepy crawly animals, she says visitors are typically drawn to the school’s llamas. An alpaca named Peanut Butter is a big hit.
Between 400 and 500 people attend the day’s events, which organizers begin planning about two months in advance.
“After 16 years, the logistics are pretty easy,” says Stephenson. “We love doing it and it shows because it’s a fun event. We have people that come back year after year.”