Once again, Mid-Columbia Ministries is sponsoring Storytime in the Park at Daubenspeck Park in Bingen.
In its seventh year, Storytime will be moving to Thursday nights at 6 p.m.
Talented youth and adults from various churches are joining together to provide fun, music, prizes, snacks and learning for children.
Designed to spread the gospel to young children and their parents, Storytime is free and brings the Bible to life with skits, music, puppets and stories.
Storytime will kickoff on July 12 with a petting zoo. MCM will be bringing in goats, rabbits, horses, chickens, cats, dogs and various other animals for the enjoyment of the children. Kids will have the opportunity to learn about the different animals and have "hands-on" time with each animal.
Many familiar characters are returning this year. Coonskin Ben, the famous fur trader is back after a two-year absence. Austin Bell of Crux Fellowship will be sharing these adventuresome stories of life on the wild frontier. Rovercomer, the 6-foot faith dog, is also back to tell of his high adventures on the streets of Bingen.
Storytime will be introduced once again by the well-loved Deputy Dugan, that cranky old prospector from Colorado. Though temperamental and hard of hearing, Dugan teaches that God's word is more valuable than silver or gold.
Children of all ages will enjoy the mishaps and mayhem of life with the puppets Oogene and Jeannie Mae Green, as they struggle through those life decisions that we all seem to face. Fortunately, Papa Green and Mama Green are there with words of wisdom for their children.
Storytime in the Park will also feature action-packed sing-alongs that encourage group participation, are a lot of fun, and are even a bit of exercise.
Small prizes will be awarded for memory verses that are memorized on a weekly basis.
On the last week, children and adults will be awarded "Dugan Dollars" for all the verses they can remember from the course of the summer. These "Dugan Dollars" will then be used to purchase items such as T-shirts, toys and videos from the Storytime store.
Since its inception in 1984, Storytime in the Park has run for six weeks during the summer. This year, Storytime starts on July 12 and will run through Aug. 16.
Though originated by former Pastor Dave Garrison of Bingen Assembly of God and the Husum Church of God, Mid-Columbia Ministries assumed the responsibility of coordinating it in 1996.
"It is exciting to see the volunteers who came forward this year to participate in providing this benefit for the children in the community. We have a lot of new, talented people to help us this year at Storytime, many of whom are local youth who are active in the local churches," said Debbie Bell, MCM director.