Record crowd attends carnival

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Teresa Wood Jody Wagner paints Harper Taylor's face during the annual Northeast Hamilton Spirit Club's School Carnival on Thursday night. The event was hosted by the Spirit Club, the Williams and Blairsburg Lions Clubs.

BLAIRSBURG – “It was a great night.”

That was how Northeast Hamilton Elementary School Principal/Assistant Superintendent Mike Kruger summed up the success of the annual school carnival held Thursday night in Blairsburg.

The record crowd of an estimated 275 adults and children attended the event hosted by the NEH Spirit Club and the Lions Clubs of Williams and Blairsburg.

The carnival is the annual fundraiser for the NEH Spirit Club and the Williams Lions Club offered to assist in the event, said Williams Lions Club President Sam Ose.

“We had asked the school what we could help them with throughout the year and they said they’d like help with the carnival,” said Ose. “Since we were doing this in Blairsburg, we asked their Lions Club to join us, too.”

The clubs provided and served the meal before the event which included 200 walking tacos, 200 corn dogs, soft pretzels, sliced apples with caramel sauce, vegetable kabobs and pineapple popsicles, said Lions Club member Mike Burton.

Lions Club volunteers also manned several of the carnival games which included Pop Bottle Ring Toss, Putt-Putt Golf, a bounce house, face painting, a Guess Station for guessing the number of items in a jar, Bean Bag Tic Tac Toe, a cake walk, Fishing Pond, Milk Bottle Throw and two variations of Bean Bag Toss.

The highlight of the evening event was the prize drawings. Students sold raffle tickets for donated merchandise and raised $2,828, said NEH Spirit Club Chair Carina Wahlert.

Money from this NEH Spirit Club fundraiser will help support events such as the Family Reading Night in March which presents each child with their own book, the school athletic games in May and several activities throughout the school year.

“Thanks to all of the businesses and individuals for their donations of prizes/money to purchase the prizes,” said Kruger. “We very much appreciate the Blairsburg and Williams Lion’s Clubs for providing the meal and serving it. A special thanks to the Spirit Club and all of their volunteers and NEH Staff for all of their work to make the carnival such a huge success”.

In years past, the crowd was respectable, but this year’s turnout filled the entire gym.

“By far, this was our biggest turn out,” agreed Wahlert, who also credited the work of the club members, the local Lions Clubs, the entire NEH staff and the community for the event’s success.

“The carnival is a lot of the work and time, but in the end, when you see smiling faces, it’s all worth it!” she said.