By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – June will get off with a carnival atmosphere on the Morinville Public Elementary School Grounds. The school’s Parents’ Fundraising Association is hosting their 2nd Annual MPES Community Carnival June 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and are once again excited to offer a no cost event for the entire community.
“The purpose of the Carnival is to establish Morinville Public Elementary as a vital pillar of our community, specifically by providing opportunities to gather together Morinville’s residents in fun, informative, low cost events, open to all Morinville families,” said MPES Parents’ Fundraising Association Chair Leah Elzinga, adding the event also strives to provide a link between families attending the carnival and local community groups and programs. “It’s an excellent opportunity for these organizations to recruit volunteers, distribute information, and promote their causes, at no cost to them.”
This year’s carnival will be held on the MPES grounds, and organizers have put together a larger carnival than last year. In addition to face painting, tattoos, and a Toddler Zone, the association is bringing in Zoo 2 U, an exotic petting zoo, and partnering with the Town of Morinville to offer kite making and flying.
“Everything about this event is bigger,” Elzinga said. “The core idea of a carnival for the kids with support and information from community groups remains the same, but the quality and scale is much larger. We’re very excited to be able to host this year’s event on our own official school grounds, for one thing. Many people still aren’t quite sure what became of the public school, and we’d love to give them an update.”
Elzinga said the first iteration of the event carried an old school penny carnival feel. She said this year, with sponsorship, funding, and hard-won community relationships, they will be providing all of those old school games plus a wide range of other activities. “The event will cover the majority of the school grounds, from the front entrance, well into the fields across from the Lakes,” Elzinga said.
Those grounds will be full of carnival games, bouncy activities and a wandering clown. Parents will have the opportunity to test drive a number of Ford products through the Drive 4UR School program, which financially rewards the school for the test drives.
One of the highlights of the event is a pie toss, sponsored by Morinville Sobeys. Last year’s event offered participants an opportunity to dunk a number of local celebrities. This year attendees will have the opportunity to hit a number of well-known and community-minded locals in the face with a cream pie. Some of those lining up to taste the whipped cream are Paul Smith, Tyler Edworthy, Valerie Loseth and a Community Peace Officer or two.
Elzinga attributes the growth of the event to the generosity of the community and the attitude of the MPES volunteers. “Our group’s motto is: “Be Different, Think Big!” and we really take that to heart,” she said, adding she felt a carnival that welcomes all families, regardless of income level, and supports multiple community groups and non-profits from Little Warriors to the Morinville Community Library was an easy sell to sponsors. “It’s going to be an amazing event and our sponsors recognize the value in being a part of that,” she said.
The MPES Parents’ Fundraising Association is hoping residents will once again come out and enjoy the free family event. “There’s going to be something for parents, for toddlers, for school children – even teenagers will have fun demolishing a bannock burger and some Newfie fries,” Elzinga said. “It’s just such a fantastic chance to get out in the community, make some friends, get some info, throw a pie at some VIPs, and have a blast. What more could any of us ask for?”
The Community Carnival takes place on the Morinville Public Elementary School Grounds (10020 101 Avenue) June 1 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.