May Fair Mania: Annual carnival at St. Mark’s is a New Canaan tradition
Annual carnival at St. Mark's is a New Canaan tradition
Published 7:23 am, Tuesday, May 12, 2015
After an overcast haze burned off in the morning, hundreds of children and parents turned out for the Annual May Fair presented by St. Mark's Episcopal Church. There they were greeted by roller coasters and carousels, games of skill, strawberry shortcake, live music, and a White Elephant Tag Sale.
For the first time ever, the event stretched over two days, with the addition of Friday Night Lights, an event geared towards teens and middle school students, said Mark Thorsheim, co-coordinator for the fair. The Friday night event offered rides, midway games, food concessions, and live music from bands such as Birdwalk and Clusterfunk from the New Canaan School of Rock.
"It did extremely well and the kids showed up, mostly high school and middle school age kids," Thorsheim said. "We aimed to have a safe and fun event and their behavior was terrific."
And, according to Thorsheim, the decision to create a Friday night youth event didn't detract from the turnout Saturday.
On Saturday, concessions in the food court downhill included grilled chicken, corn on the cob, hot dogs, and smoked brisket made by St. Mark's `Holy Smokers,' who prepare the meat days in advance to be sold at the event.
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Admission to the event was free, but ride tickets were sold separately on site.
The proceeds of the Mayfair support St. Mark's local, national, and international outreach programs throughout the year, Thorsheim said. Last year, the church awarded approximately $300,000 in grants to dozens of organizations.
On Saturday, 9-year-old Cooper Jessop played various midway games with his friends to vie for stuffed animals and other prizes, including a shooting gallery game.
"I'm having fun," Jessop said.
Jessop's father, John Jessop, said the fair is an annual ritual for young town families.
"It's the best way to kick off spring," he said.