Board OK’s carnival for June
NEW IPSWICH — East Coast Midways is coming to town in early June, in support of the town’s American Youth Soccer Organization.
Mindy Buxton of the AYSO met with the Select Board on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of hosting a carnival, with full-scale rides and games on the Babe Ruth field in the town’s park on Playground Road. Buxton had met with the board previously on the issue, asking for some clarification on what East Coast Midway’s insurance would cover if the carnival damaged the town’s fields, which have been redone in the past few years.
In an interview Wednesday, Buxton said that East Coast Midways, a Maine-based company, would indeed cover any damage to the grounds, and had a contracted landscape company that would do the repairs. Having clarified that, the Select Board voted 2-1 to give the go-ahead for the carnival to take place, with Select Board member Becky Doyle in opposition.
Traffic concerns and adequate police detail were among some of the concerns she had, said Doyle in a phone interview Monday. The driving force behind her concern is that the weekend the carnival is set to be held coincides with the Mascenic School District’s graduation weekend.
“My concerns were that we’d be stretching our emergency services too far,” said Doyle. “We’re going to have kids having graduation parties, [as well as] people coming from out of town and creating traffic. Any other weekend, I would have no problem with the carnival.”
The board discussed the possibility of holding the carnival on a different weekend, Doyle noted, but were told by Buxton that East Coast Midways would not be available other weekends. Doyle said that Police Chief Tim Carpenter was present during Tuesday’s meeting, and had advised the board he would be able to hire a detail from another area agency if there is need for it.
“I wish there was a different weekend that it could happen, but hopefully everything will go smoothly and we won’t have any issues,” said Doyle. Her fellow Select Board members voted in favor of allowing the carnival, allowing it to move forward.
AYSO will be responsible for paying for at minimum, a two-officer detail during the hours of the carnival, which is the event’s biggest expense, she said. The organization is also currently in talks with the police department regarding the need for a 24-hour security detail for the grounds.
AYSO does not have to have any funds upfront to pay for the carnival, but rather gets a percentage of the profits from the carnival’s four-day stay. AYSO is entitled to up to 10 percent of profits if the carnival makes $15,000, 15 percent at $20,000 and 20 percent at $30,000, said Buxton. In order to fully fund AYSO for the coming year, the carnival would have to make $25,000, said Buxton. That is not out of the realm of possibility, she said, but AYSO and the New Ipswich Recreation Department will also be holding some additional fundraising efforts that weekend to help ease the way.
Local vendors are also invited to host tables on Saturday in the space adjacent to the carnival. Table space is $20 per spot. Nennie’s 5 Star Cafe will be selling hot dogs and hamburgers on Saturday. AYSO will also be sponsoring a 50/50 raffle, with tickets sold Saturday and the winner announced on Sunday. Proceeds will benefit the AYSO and the New Ipswich Recreation Department.
“This is definitely the biggest-scale fundraiser we’ve held,” said Buxton, who added that the AYSO usually does events like the yard sale at the annual Autumn Fest to raise money. “We’re really excited to get something fun for the community and get people excited for the summer, too. Even if all we do is break even, it should be a great time.”
The carnival will be held June 5 through June 8. Hours will be Thursday and Friday 6 to 10 p.m., Saturday 2 to 10 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 6 p.m.
The AYSO supports youth soccer players ages 4 to 12. Sign-ups for AYSO and other recreation summer programs will be available on the weekend of the carnival. For more information, or to sponsor the event, or apply for a vendor’s space, contact Buxton at email@example.com.
Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari.