By Randy Pierce
Barbecue, ice cream, live entertainment, cooling spray from a fire truck, a close-up view of a police vehicle and a movie are the components of a gala family-oriented summer celebration scheduled for Friday, July 20, beginning at 5 p.m. at Moody Park in Fairview Heights.
Barbecue will be sold starting at 5 p.m. then an hour later, free ice cream will be served and a vehicle from the Fairview Fire Department will be present with one of its members hosing down children with a comforting spray of cool water. There will also be a police officer present with a vehicle from the local department for children to sit in and learn about.
Then at 7 p.m., one of the most popular entertainers to ever visit Fairview Heights, rightfully promoted as being tremendously amusing for children with his interactive presentation, but also impossible for adults to avoid enjoying, the man known as Babaloo will come forward with what he calls his own version of “carefully controlled kid chaos.”
Babaloo, actually Rob Compton of Washington, Missouri, promises to come up with one surprise after another during his segment, the enthusiasm he generates reaching great heights with a lot of summertime energy to be burned off by the audience participants in the process.
Whether it is shooting toilet paper or bubbles out into the audience or having them use plastic buckets as makeshift drums, Babaloo, who has appeared previously at the local library and also has performed before at Moody Park, stirs the boys and girls of all ages present at his show into all sorts of smiles and excitement with the program he presents.
A 1979 graduate of Parkway North High School in St. Louis County, Compton has played music in local bands, holds bachelor’s degrees in writing and wildlife conservation and formerly worked in a variety of diverse positions before he finally found his special niche, entertaining children and the adults who come with them to see him.
Babaloo, who has done shows as far away as Albuquerque, New Mexico, has won songwriting competition awards for his compositions like “My Toothbrush Fell Into the Toilet” and “The Wee Wee Dance.” Other gems in his repertoire include “I Lost My Pants in the Swimming Pool,” “Don’t Pass the Gas” and “Gorilla in the Middle of the Bedroom Floor.”
Then following Babaloo’s show in the park, blankets and lawn chairs brought from home are recommended for the showing of the movie “Paddington 2” beginning at dusk.
“Paddington 2” is a 2017 live-action animated comedy film, directed by Paul King and written by King and Simon Farnaby. Based on the stories of the character Paddington Bear, created by Michael Bond, it is the sequel to the 2014 film “Paddington” and is produced by Heyday Films and StudioCanal.
This movie finds Paddington happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief.
“Paddington” is based on the best-selling and internationally adored series of children’s stories by British author Michael Bond which have sold more than 35 million copies worldwide, been translated into over 40 languages and captured the imagination of children and adults around the globe.