A free event this weekend will give children the opportunity to practice their fishing skills, and they could win prizes in the process.

A free event this weekend will give children the opportunity to practice their fishing skills, and they could win prizes in the process.

The annual Mel Hedrick Fishing Derby will take place from 8-11 a.m. Saturday at Happy Hollow Lake, 19749 Happy Hollow Road. The event is sponsored by Leavenworth County.

The event is intended for children who are between the ages of 3 and 15.

Bait will be provided, but children are asked to bring their own fishing poles.

“Bring your fishing poles and be ready for a good time,” said Stephanie Sloop, an organizer for the event.

The fishing derby is a catch and release event. The event is named after a longtime county employee who was an avid fisherman.

Sloop said prizes will be awarded for the largest fish caught as well as to the child who catches the most fish. There also will be prizes for the largest fish caught for each of three age categories.

Organizers also will be serving hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and beverages.

Happy Hollow Road is located off of U.S. 73-Kansas 7 Highway northwest of the city of Leavenworth.

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