by Stephen Dafoe
The Morinville Public School Community Carnival has kicked the summer off for the past three years a week before the annual St. Jean Baptiste (SJB) Festival. This year, the highly successful event will take place during the latter festival weekend.
This year, the MPS Community Carnival will double its reach with a two-day carnival June 20 and 21.
Organizers are looking forward to partnering with SJB. “We’re at the point now where the two festivals are a good size, just two weekends apart,” said event organizer Leah Elzinga. “We’ve always said that our mandate was to make it a true community event. This [partnership] is the best way to do that.”
The MPS Community Carnival will provide the children’s activities component of the overall festival. The carnival will take place in the arena, allowing children and their families to enjoy a large variety of activities and events rain or shine. “Carnival is going to be chock full of old school penny carnival games,” Elzinga said, adding the event will include a number of performances. “You’ll see Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Batman and others. We’ll have knights in shining armour. Morinville Public School’s Rock Band is coming out, and City Ballet is sending a dancer out.”
In addition to the carnival games and performances, Elzinga said 14 community groups are already registered to take part in the annual event, running the various activities and offering info on what their groups can offer local families.
In keeping with the school group’s three-year history of providing a no-cost event that all members of the community can participate in, this year’s Community Carnival will once again be completely free.
“We have a huge push to have an event in town that is completely free for children, so that every child — regardless of what part of town they come from or what their family situation is — end up experiencing the carnival in the same way,” Elzinga said. “It’s not just a matter of being allowed in the door. It’s a matter of when they come in the door, every child gets to play the games, gets the bouncy castle, gets a treat.”
Elzinga said details on the various activities, groups and sponsors will be promoted on the group’s Facebook page between now and the June 20-21 event. The event page is located at facebook.com/events/1394068510919038/.