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New Ipswich

Board mulls carnival plan

NEW IPSWICH — The town’s youth soccer organization would like to bring a carnival to town, for a fundraiser they hope will provide for their yearly costs.

Liz Card Letters and Mindy Buxton, the local organizers for the American Youth Soccer Organization, met with the Select Board last Tuesday to present the idea, and ask for permission to use the town fields to hold the four-day carnival.

Buxton said she has been in contact with East Coast Midways out of Clinton, Maine, to provide the games and full-sized rides. The company is flexible in what they can provide, explained Buxton, so the carnival can be built to a standard the board finds acceptable.

Among the offered choices are a Ferris wheel, carousal and kiddie rides. The soccer organization does not have to pay in advance for the carnival to come, but will take a percentage of the profit they make for fundraising purposes. How much the soccer organization gets is dependent upon how much the carnival makes — if the carnival clears $15,000, AYSO will get 10 percent of the earnings. If the carnival makes more than $20,000, the organization gets 15 percent.

AYSO is hoping to host the carnival between June 5 and June 8. The carnival will be held in the evening on Thursday and Friday from 6 to 10 p.m., and from 2 to 6 p.m. during the weekend.

There will also be an opportunity for town vendors to be involved, explained Buxton. In cooperation with the Recreation Department, the hope is to be able to host tables for those that would like to sell their crafts or art, and some local food providers, including Nennie’s 5 Star Cafe, have shown interest in providing food stalls.

The AYSO would pay for the police detail, which, Buxton said, will likely cost up to $2,000.

Select Board member Woody Meiszner asked if worse came to worse, and the AYSO didn’t make a profit on the event, who would be liable for the cost of paying for things like the security detail, and whether AYSO had the ability to take that burden. Letters explained that AYSO would still shoulder the cost. AYSO is a national organization, she explained, so could absorb the cost if need be.

The Select Board commented that in the past, there have been issues with similar events in using the field, because of the damage that the trucks and equipment can cause to the ground and grass. Select Board Chair George Lawrence pointed out that the Babe Ruth field, one of the fields that the AYSO is requesting to use, had been redone only a handful of years ago. The board questioned whether East Coast Midways insurance policy would cover repairs to the field if any damage is done.

Buxton said that East Coast Midways does have a comprehensive insurance policy for any damage done while the carnival is on the fields, and she would check with her contact to see if damages to the field were included in that. Buxton also pointed out that similar events in the past have used the parking lot of the adjacent playground to host the large rides, and that might be an alternative, if the board is agreeable.

The board agreed to revisit the issue after learning more specifics about the insurance coverage provided by East Coast Midways.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari.

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