Saturday’s Crayon Carnival and Stroll of Nations at Cooperstown Central School offered a colorful counterpoint to the dull weather outdoors. The event, which has been a CCS tradition for more than 30 years, was hosted by the school’s Parent Teacher Association and featured a cake walk, an inflatable bounce house, a large indoor slide, carnival games, basket raffles and other family-friendly entertainments.
The Crayon Carnival is the PTA’s biggest fundraiser, helping to raise money for local student organizations such as KidGarden, Red Hot Ropers, TREP$ entrepreneurial club and school field trips. Money raised by the group throughout the year is also used for grants for parents and teachers.
“We want to enhance and advance what the school does and be a resource for the community,” said Joanne Crowson, a five-year PTA member and chairwoman of the event.
Though the PTA takes a leading role, the carnival is a complete community effort, Crowson said.
“If you mention this event to anyone from around here, they all know what it is,” Crowson said, adding that the carnival planning started in September and more than 100 volunteers were recruited to operate rides and games, take raffle tickets and serve the food.
Amid the popcorn, candy, brownies and pretzels, activities such as a face painting booth proved popular with children. Phil Andrews, who had brought his niece Claire Pokorny to the carnival, noted that, “This is just a really fun place to come, particularly on a cold, wet day.”
While the event was geared toward fun, the Stroll of Nations also provided a locally-crafted, Epcot-inspired educational venue where attendees had the opportunity to sample the cultures of several countries through exhibitions, food and music. Kids even had their “passports” stamped for visiting the nations represented.
For Stephanie Rudloff, a 10-year-old Cooperstown Elementary School student, the Stroll of Nations allowed her to learn about her parents’ Mexican and Indian cultural heritage.
“I feel like I am between two cultures and am happy to see and learn about them both here,” said Stephanie.