NEW ORLEANS — Family Service of Greater New Orleans does serious work, providing counseling services to children and families throughout the New Orleans area.

But last Saturday, it was all about having fun when the agency threw its Third annual Hickory Dickory Rock festival, bringing almost 4,000 children and their parents to enjoy City Park’s amusement rides in beautiful spring weather.

About $45,000 was raised to support counseling services. Half of the clients served by Family Service of Greater New Orleans are children under 18.

Families started arriving at 4:30 p.m., lining up outside the gate to be the first to ride the carousel, Coney Tower or Ferris Wheel.

The smallest attendees rushed into Storyland for face painting and exploring fairytale vignettes.

“I appreciate being able to host an event totally focused on families coming together to have fun in a safe environment,” said Ron McClain, chief executive officer of Family Service who served as impromptu emcee.

“We are fortunate to have the support of the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, Mirabeau Family Learning Center, Entergy New Orleans and IberiaBank to support this wonderful event,” McClain said.

The rock band Bag of Donuts energized the crowds with wild stage antics, clouds of smoke and crepe paper streamers. Band members welcomed youngsters on stage to share the limelight.

Bob Becker, City Park’s chief executive officer, stopped by for a visit.

“We look forward to this event every year,” Becker said, “because it gives us an opportunity to provide a wonderful service to families who appreciate and benefit.”