The 40 year tradition continues

The Augusta Historic Theatre will host the 40th annual Bugs Bunny Club the next four Saturday mornings.

Many Augustans who attended the special kid-entertainment Saturdays in March as children, are now watching their grandchildren have the same fun.

Forty years ago, former director of the Augusta Department of Safety, Steve Shaffer, thought it would be a good idea to encourage the local children to get more involved and learn about the Safety Department.

The first Bugs Bunny Club, which was held at the Augusta Theatre, got off to a rip-roaring start with almost 400 kids in attendance.

The theatre was packed with excited children who enjoyed a western movie, a cartoon, a Batman movie, appearances by the Keystone Cops, Bugs Bunny, a clown and a performance by a drum and bugle corp.

The event is still going strong 40 years later. Each year the children return to watch cartoons and movies; enjoy contests; meet McGruff the Crime Fighting Dog and Smokey the Bear; and Bugs Bunny is still around.

Augusta safety officers take the opportunity to share fire safety with the children and discuss other safety issues with them, as well.

The door opens at 9:15 a.m. and the club will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on March 8, 15, 22 and 29. Admission is still just 25 cents and all movies are rated G or PG.

Local citizens and businesses donate all the prizes and during the last Saturday club meeting. Bicycles are given away to a number of lucky kids. This year’s sponsors are The Augusta Department of Safety and The Friends of Augusta.

Belinda Larsen can be reached at