The blue sky and sprightly breeze on Sunday offered a beautiful backdrop for the second annual Evergreen Fall Carnival at Bergen Meadow Elementary School.
Children of all ages participated in a variety of activities, from yoga and martial arts to pony rides and bounce houses, while their parents tagged along or gathered in small groups to chat.
Since the carnival was combined this year with the annual Safety Fair sponsored by Evergreen Fire/Rescue, families also took rides in fire trucks, and children learned about bicycle safety during the bike rodeo in the school parking lot.
It was the second year for the area-wide carnival after it was held for seven years as a Bergens-only event. Bergens PTA organizers hoped to raise close to $20,000 for the schools.
This year, there were many repeat attendees. Parents said their children had so much fun last year that they were excited to attend again.
In the parking lot, families could get flu shots, adopt pets and sign up for the Code Red emergency notification system, while in the field below the school, children ran and played while listening to live music from local groups.
The face-painting booth was a big hit with kids, with long lines waiting patiently to be turned into animals, flowers or rainbows.
Four painters worked quickly on the tiny faces. Rachel Richardson, whose son attends Bergen Meadow, said she volunteered to paint faces several years ago, and she recruited her neighbors to help.
While dabbing white and pink paint on a child’s face, she said face painting is so popular because “they get to be something else.” The child turned into a beautiful butterfly.
A petting zoo was a new feature at the carnival, and there was no shortage of children checking out the goats, sheep, chickens, a miniature horse, an alpaca and a pot-bellied pig.
Young Daisy Ocasek said she liked the miniature horse best because it was soft. She also enjoyed the pony ride and the bounce houses.
Kindergartner Brody Reece said he had petted most of the animals, and he also got a Darth Vader costume at the recycled-costume tent.
Brody’s mom, Becky Reece, said she was having as much fun as her children, and she especially enjoyed petting the pot-bellied pig because she’s always wanted one.
Everyone agreed the carnival was a huge success thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who organized and worked at the event.
“So much goes on behind the scenes,” Becky Reece said. “This is a full-time job for the volunteers.”
Parents agreed it was a great community event, one that allowed the children to be outside enjoying the weather and having fun.
“This event is such fun,” said parent Sarah Ocasek. “It’s a great community event, and the kids love it.”