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Kicking off the school year for the past dozen years with a party and loads of activities and resource opportunities, the UpValley Family Centers will hold its 13th annual Back to School Family Celebration on Friday.

The popular event that drew more than 800 last year will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Berry Field on the campus of Calistoga Elementary School, 1327 Berry St.

Hosted by UpValley Family Centers (UVFC) and the Calistoga Joint Unified School District (CJUSD), the family celebration connects children and their families with teachers, school staff, friends, and the community at large.

It’s as much a party as it is a service provider fair, said Ricky Hurtado, development manager.

There will be children’s activities and entertainment, a free meal, and more than 40 partner agencies that will showcase the various services they provide to the Calistoga community. Vital services include nutrition programs, wellness services, health insurance, pediatric dental care, preschool options, literacy programs and more.

“This event is the definition of community – everyone is welcome and it’s a great way to start the school year. We are grateful to the Calistoga Joint Unified School District, our sponsors and organizations throughout the valley who participate in offering families an opportunity to learn about the many resources available to them,” said Jenny Ocon, UVFC executive director.

The event is sponsored by CJUSD, Cal Mart, Calistoga Rotary, Cottage Grove Inn, The Doctor’s Company, Jones Family Vineyards and owners Elaine and Rick Jones, and Westamerica Bank.

Some of the partner providers that will be at the event include Napa County Mental Health, Calistoga CARES Food Pantry, Calistoga Art Center, Napa County Child Support, Aldea Children and Family Services, Boys & Girls Club, Hearts and Hands, Ole Health, Napa Emergency Women’s Services, Girl Scouts of Northern California, Healthy Cooking with Kids, Calistoga Library, Calistoga Police Department, Calistoga Recreation Department, Modern Woodmen, and many more.

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor