Last weekend, Greg and I were invited to the New Hope Elementary School Fall Carnival. The idea of going to the carnival got me so excited, Greg teased me for days. New Hope is a bitty little town southeast of Huntsville. I'm pretty sure the entire town turned out for the carnival, which was a fundraiser for the school.
You see, back in my younger days, my school (Olentangy Elementary) also had a fall carnival. It was my absolute favorite thing for years. I would save my money for months to be able to buy tickets and play games and win prizes. The haunted house that was the scariest thing ever, that game where you pull a lollipop out of a fake tree and see if the end is red, fishing pond, duck pond, cake walk, football toss, all the wonderful carnival games! I just loved it. I remember playing bingo in the school library and winning my first ever Walkman (or whatever the off-brand personal cassette player was called) and blasting my New Kids on the Block tape for months. It WAS the right stuff, baby.
So, given the opportunity to recreate these memories 25 years later? Yes please! I was totally not disappointed. The New Hope carnival was everything I hoped it would be. Kids running around from game to game, face paint, cotton candy, cake walks, all of the same attractions from when I was little! Plus a few new ones that were pretty awesome, too. We started the evening with a barbeque dinner - pulled pork sammies with baked beans and coleslaw, with homemade (and some store bought, let's be honest) desserts. Then we accompanied our hosts (Mike and Tanya with their two kids) to get some tickets - what's the point of going to the carnival if you don't get tickets?
Walking down the halls filled with miniature lockers and smiling children, the husbands peeled off to go check the football scores - no reception inside the building, haha. We took the kids to the first stop: the Toy Walk. The concept is similar to the cake walk, walk around in a circle, when the music stops they call out numbers, whoever is standing on those numbers wins! However, in place of confectionery delights, the prizes were gobs and gobs of toys that had been donated by local families. This game was very popular. Next stop, the Dime Toss. Now, I have never heard of anything like this...and I freaking loved it. So clever! Here's the deal: People donate old plates, bowls, cups, glasses, vases, dishes, etc. and they are placed all over a large table. There is a rope about 3 feet out that goes around the perimeter of the table, and people stand around and toss dimes at the different items. If your dime lands in something, you get to keep it! There is a frenzy of dime tossing and replacing the empty spaces with more glassware. I won an awesome turquoise glass vase - I only had to throw 4 dimes at it! I only had to elbow two boys out of the way for it. It was awesome.
My other favorite thing they did was a little photo backdrop - pumpkins, leaves, hay bales, etc. For only two tickets (about $1) we will be receiving 2 4 x 6 photos of ourselves surrounded by the splendor of fall. Bonus: Greg was totally wearing an Ohio State jersey!
The rest of the evening was a bit of a blur, I went into a bit of a sugar coma from all the fresh cotton candy and excitement. But I do remember feeling so nostalgic and happy, The only downside was that we didn't win anything at the cakewalk. Oh well, maybe next year :)
So tell me, Olentangy Elementary alums: do you remember the carnival? What was your favorite memory?