TAMPA — A group of children surrounded the MOSI booth at the Tampa Convention Center, where “Dr. Kook” was inflating balloons with dry ice.
Earlier Sunday, Dr. Kook launched a small rocket from a film cannister at Kids Day, where parents and children from around the Tampa Bay area converged.
“It’s our gas theme,” Vivian Santiago-McIlrath, community relations coordinator with the Museum of Science and Industry, said of Dr. Kook’s demonstrations. “We’re teaching that it’s OK to expel it,” she said with a laugh.
MOSI was one of more than 50 vendors at the event sponsored by CBS Radio. Kids Day coincided with Metrocon, the state’s largest anime convention, which ended Sunday.
Some Metrocon patrons, dressed in colorful costumes, attended both events.
Emily Bonvini, integrated marketing and special events coordinator with CBS Radio, said the events complemented one another.
“It’s a nice marriage,” she said. “This is our second year, and we were at capacity by noon.”
Kids Day began at 10 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m. The Tampa Tribune was a sponsor, and the event was presented by the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority.
Judy Juan of Tampa said her 5-year-old grand-daughter, Riley Buchanan, wanted to attend.
“I’ve been here before, but I don’t remember it being this wild,” she said.
Around her, children squealed as they were flung into the air on long Bungee cords. Other kids watched a large model train circle an elaborate set, while some waited in line to have their picture taken with Calum Worthy, co-star of The Disney Channel comedy “Austin & Ally.”
Becky Klekotta of Largo brought her 5-year-old son, Landen.
“They said it was a free event,” Klekotta said. “It is good, and it’s fun, and admission is free, but it’s $10 for parking, $10 for the bounce house and the face painting was $5.”
Klekotta said she learned of the event when she received an invitation.
“It’s summer, it’s a Sunday and parents are looking for something to do,” Bonvini said. “Next year, I think we’re going to expand to a larger space” at the Convention Center.