Carnivals of Halloweens Past

We’ve had a monsoon of enthusiasm from our alumni lately.  Little did I know that a few dozen Seed archive photos would invite such an enthusiastic  response.  Last night while digging through closets at home, I hit a photo jackpot.  I was searching for old carnival photos and ended up reliving the last 38 years of my life.  It was surprising how many names and memories came back to me when I saw those young faces.

I found several photos from our first carnival, which happened in 1982.  It was originally established by our APA (Awakening Parents’ Association) as a fun and safe Halloween alternative.  It was held in our very small enclosed playground, which would fit inside the current toddler playground space.  We had no lights and limited funds for set-up, so it happened during daylight hours.  In 1984 we moved to a new location and the carnival expanded.  I vaguely remember getting rained out that year, then the weather let up and we went ahead with the carnival that night.  I recall that we added lights to the event.  By 1986 we had moved again and our playground offered a slightly bigger space for the carnival festivities.  One of the biggest changes to the carnival was the addition of the Mystery Theater, which has been a long standing tradition ever since (  In addition to the entertainment aspect of the Mystery Theater, the proceeds are contributed to the staff faculty fund.

Over the years we’ve added a raffle and silent auction, more games and lights, and a photo booth.  The food offerings have been through a multitude of transitions, with the consistent element being an excellent array of desserts.  We now have an over-the-top cake walk, face painting and bounce houses.  We now ask each class to be in charge of a game booth and parents take turns running the booth.  We also ask each current family to sign up bring baked goods, sell raffle tickets and volunteer for a half-hour shift during the carnival, which frees up the APA coordinators to keep an eye on the big picture during the evening.  This year our raffle prizes are posted online with an option for online raffle ticket purchases  (, so Seed supporters who can’t make the event can still participate.

There are several reasons I love this event:
•  I appreciate the community aspect and how it connects our past families with the present.
•  I enjoy the opportunity to work closely with our APA coordinators who spend an immense amount of time putting this event together.
•  I love being involved with the Mystery Theater players, each year thinking of new ways to entertain and make our audiences laugh.
•  I’m deeply grateful for the proceeds, which not only fund classroom projects but also are the primary source of preschool scholarships for the Seed.

The carnival exemplifies everything the Seed is about and I hope you will all find a way to participate, help and support this significant community event.