Family fun in the sun: Lion Tamers to hold 23rd annual community event at Covington Rec Center

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By Alison James
Associate Editor

Swimming. Moon Walk. Free food. Fellowship.

All these and more will make up the Family Fun Day June 7 at Covington Recreation Center, hosted by the Lion Tamers Social and Civic Club of Opelika.

“We have big crowds, said Wilbert Payne, event coordinator and club assistant secretary. “The bigger the better. A lot of families come and bring their kids, and a lot of elderly people come.”

With “a little something for everybody” Payne said the event has always been well-supported by the community – throughout its 23 years.

“We came up with the Family Fun Day in the early ‘90s,” said Payne, explaining that the community event replaced the Lion Tamers’ previous major activity, a dance. “It was something we wanted to do to give back to the community and the kids.”

Family Fun Day begins at 10 a.m. and lasts until 2 p.m., with a picnic at 11 a.m. All activities are free and open to anyone who would like to attend.

The Opelika Lion Tamers organization was started in 1946. Payne joined the Lion Tamers in the mid-‘70s.

“I used to be around members who were part of the Lion Tamers,” Payne said. “I said, ‘Hmm, I’d like to join with them one day. They seem to set a high standard for the people in the community.”

And Payne has been involved with Family Fun Day since its inception.

“I enjoy doing it,” Payne said. “I’m going to do it as long as God wills. I pray strongly about this every year – all the members do.”

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