By Meghan McCaffrey Contributing Writer
---- — The winter can deter one from going outside, but it does not have to stop families from having a fun and active day at the carnival.
The Cooperstown Parent Teacher Association will host the Crayon Carnival and Stroll of Nations in the Cooperstown Middle/High School gym from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 29.
This event has been a tradition for CCS parents and students for over 30 years.
“If you mention this event to anyone from around here they all know what it is,” said Joanne Crowson, five year CCS PTA member and chairperson of the event.
The carnival activities will span the entire gym and will include inflatable games and bounce houses; the Stroll of Nations where people can learn more about various cultures through music, food and displays; the food court; basket raffle and silent auction, and 10 traditional carnival games including hoop shoot, and ring-a-bat, where players try to toss a ring onto a bat.
There is no fee for admission but people can pay to purchase raffle tickets, which are used to play the games, go on rides, buy food, and to enter into the basket raffle.
Some of the baskets include a basket full of chocolate and a basket of kid’s toys, with coloring books and crayons.
The PTA advocates for the education of children and it is comprised of parents and teachers, Crowson said.
“We want to enhance and advance what the school does and be a resource for the community,” Crowson continued.
The Crayon Carnival is the PTA’s biggest fundraiser every year, Crowson said.
The PTA helps to fund student organizations such as; KidGarden, Red Hot Ropers, TREP$ entrepreneurial club and school fieldtrips.
The money raised throughout the year is also used for grants for parents and teachers, Crowson said.
In order to make the carnival a possibility, the PTA has to do a lot of planning, said Crowson. The PTA begins planning the event in September and the planning continues until the day of the event. They also utilize over 100 volunteers at the carnival to operate the rides and games, take raffle tickets, and serve the food.
“It really does involve a lot of people to make it happen,” Crowson said.
Crowson also said the middle/high school students volunteer and help the younger kids.
“It’s been such a long tradition for those students,” Crowson said. “They probably remember having an older student help them when they were kids.”
The food is mostly donated and consists of typical carnival fare including hot dogs and pizza, but there will also be ziti and Mexican dishes. The food itself is enough of a draw for some people.
“I once heard that people came just for the food,” Crowson said.
Crowson said her favorite part about the event is that everyone comes together to help the PTA, which in turn helps the school and the entire community and they enjoy it.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Crowson. “It’s a nice event to bring people together.”
“Everybody has a great time,” Crowson continued. “The kids really thoroughly enjoy it and they’re exhausted by the end of the day.”
For more information or to make a monetary donation or a donation for the basket raffle, please contact Joanne Crowson by calling 607-437-8761 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.