Pumpkin bowling

Sisters Keelie Brown, 6, left, and Teagan Brown, 4, take turns bowling pumpkins Saturday during the FORD Country Fall Festival at David Street Station.

Elysia Conner, Star-Tribune

Good news for athletic kids.

Casper’s Downtown Development Authority recently received a $500,000 grant from the Daniels Fund to expand youth sports opportunities by completing the David Street Station, according to a press release from the organization.

The downtown plaza, which consists of a stage, grassy field and concrete pathways, officially opened on Aug. 16. The project is planning to expand to include a splash pad, ice skating rink, fire pit, restrooms, space for vendors and an observation deck. Kevin Hawley, the development authority’s CEO, said Friday that with the help of this latest grant, the project should be entirely completed by May 2018.

One of the complex’s many purposes is to serve as a space for youth sports programs.

The Cowboy State Games has contracted to use the station to host their opening and closing ceremony, according to the release.

Casper Sports Alliance Director John Giantonio said the plaza is going to be an “integral component” of the city’s athletic community.

“It’s already proven to be a valuable asset in attracting sports events to Casper that otherwise may have gone to another city or state,” he states in the release. “That’s good for our kids and our community.”

The Daniels Fund is a private foundation that works to improve the quality of life for people living in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. It provides grants to assist with amateur sports, disabilities, drug and alcohol addiction, education and homelessness.

There’s also some good news for Casper’s arts community: The Community Recreation Foundation’s Annual Craft Fair will be held at the Casper Recreation Center on Friday and Saturday.

Lori Spearman, the city’s recreation coordinator, said last week that it’s the largest craft fair in the state and usually draws a crowd of about 5,000.

“It’s a good opportunity for holiday shopping,” she said. “We have a large variety of crafts, from metal and wood to hand-sewn items.”

Spearman explained that proceeds from the fair go toward the Community Recreation Foundation’s scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to seniors and youth interested in signing up for one of the center’s programs.

Admission is to the fair is free, but a $3 donation is suggested.

Katie King covers the city of Casper.

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Katie King joined the Star-Tribune in 2017 and primarily covers issues related to local government. She previously worked as a crime reporter in the British Virgin Islands. Originally from Virginia, Katie is a graduate of James Madison University.

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