COOKIES WITH CHARACTERS EXPANDING

Published 3:20 pm Friday, February 5, 2021

Meredith’s Miracles is gearing up for its biggest fundraiser of the year, but this year they have big news, an expansion.

According to Director Kiley Spears, this year’s Mickey’s Rockin Rodeo 2021 Cookies with Characters will take place at the Covington Arena.

“We are renting out the arena, as well as the Kiwanis Building,” Spears said. “We will now have 122,000 square feet to work with. We are really excited about that.”

Spears said they have always known that they would need more space for the event.

“Our thing before COVID, was that the show was only 30 minutes so everybody could sit close to each other,” Spears said. “We knew we couldn’t do that this year. So, we negotiated with the arena and they have been so amazing and accommodating. We will probably do it this way from here on out, because it is so great to have all of this seating. The arena seats around 2,500 people and we are able to social distance all of the families.”

Last year, the non-profit was able to host the event right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, raising enough money for 500 medical trips for families in need.

“We were blessed that we were able to have Cookies with Characters last year before COVID,” Spears said. “We have to have Cookies with Characters, because our foundation depends on this fundraiser. Most of the funding from last year came from Cookies with Characters. This year, we knew that we had to have it somehow.”

After countless hours of meetings and talk, Spears and the foundation came up with a safety plan for this year’s event.

“We are going to have three shows this year and we are limiting the ticket sales to all of those shows,” Spears said. “Our tickets sales are online this year and we have preferred seating, which is $10 and they will be assigned seats in the red seats. The general admission will be in the stadium seating and families will social distance themselves. The shows will be in the arena. The meet and greet with the characters will then be in the Kiwanis building and we will have all of our characters in face shields.”

The concession stands, ticket booths, and merchandise tables will all be socially distanced and all of the workers will be wearing masks.

Another change this year is that there will be no jump houses.

“Instead of the jump houses, we are going to have a large slide,” Spears said. “We are also going to have a sort of obstacle course. We are just trying really hard to make things spread out. There will be as many outside events as possible.”

Spears said that COVID-19 has caused an impact on their recruiting methods to get sponsors.

“We are very in need of sponsors right now,” Spears said. “We have been having difficulties because we can’t do what we usually have done and go out to all of the sponsors. So, we are kind of scrambling right now to do that. We did send out an email to all of our previous sponsors and they are able to register online at cookieswithcharacters.org.”

All of the ticket sales, as well as the safety plan is on the website, at cookieswithcharacters.org.

The event is scheduled for Feb. 27 and 28, with doors opening on Saturday for Show 1 at 11 a.m, with the show starting at noon. For Show 2, doors open at 4 p.m., and the show starts at 5 p.m. and on Sunday, doors open at 2 p.m., and the show starts at 5:30 p.m.