Groups, organizations, churches and businesses are encouraged to create a fun game or activity for children and to have that available for the 9th annual Big Spring Summer Social on the Square, presented Saturday, Aug. 23, by the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Our focus is to provide children of all ages with an end of summer event that has lots of fun games and different activities that are of either little or no expense to them or their parents,” said Lauri Lyerla, chamber executive director. “To do that, we have businesses and organizations come in and we provide them booth space for free. We ask them to provide a children’s game — free of charge to children — and then they are able to either promote their business or their organization, fundraise, different things; so there will be items for sale.”

Lyerla said the chamber is holding a contest and will award what are chosen as the top three children’s games.

“We want them to get creative and come up with some fun and new games for the kids,” she said.

Previous Summer Socials on the Square have included 20 to 25 different games and Lyerla said some of the churches have typically brought inflatables, obstacles courses and various games for kids.

She said the committee needs to know what booths will be available and group plans to fundraise and what they are selling. To sign up for a free booth, call 451-1925 or stop by the chamber office in the Hale McGinty Business Development Center, 216 W. Spring St.

Other activities that day will include wheelbarrow races, turtle races, and Lyerla said the chamber is now actively seeking participants for the third annual bathtub races.

“We have changed it up a little.” She noted, “This year there is a $20 entry fee for each tub. You’re going to be racing for the prize so each team can select what charity, if they win, that they would like to donate the money to. We’re hoping that we get more interest and different people that are willing to build a tub to race to try to win that prize money for their favorite organization or charity.”

She said all entry fees will go to the winning charity.

Lyerla said each tub must be at least four feet long and two feet wide. The wheels on the tub must be no bigger than 30 inches diameter and mounted on axles no more than 44 inches wide, no coasters or casters are allowed.

She said no motors or mechanical drivers can be used to push the tub, it must be pushed by four members of the team while a fifth member rides in the tub with water, so the tubs must be able to hold water. Of the four team members pushing, she said one must carry a bar of soap, another must carry a bath mat, one must wear a bath mitt, and one will carry a towel, while all members keep one hand on the tub at all times. All of those items must remain in each member’s hand as they cross the finish line or they will be disqualified. The fifth member must be in the tub taking a bath from the start to the finish line. Participants must be at least 16 years of age.

Lyerla said the bathtub must be filled with water at the start of the race and at least five gallons must remain in the tub at the finish line or they will be disqualified. She said anything goes, including water balloons, costumes and race strategies.

Registration forms for the bathtub races are available from the chamber and should be submitted no later than Aug. 11.

The Big Spring Summer Social on the Square will continue from 4 to 8 p.m., and Lyerla said entertainment will be provided throughout.

“We’ll be talking to the dance studios, some of the churches that have music performances, the karate place, we’re really open,” she said.

As the fun concludes on the historic Neosho Square, Lyerla said the tradition will continue to parade the few blocks west to Big Spring Park for another installment of Cinema in the Park.

“We are going to show ‘The Lego Movie,’ duel sponsored by Hurst-Roche Engineers which is L & L Surveys here in Neosho, and the Neosho Arts Council,” she said.