Words: Caleb McClatchey
As of Thursday afternoon, only 13 clubs had signed up for this year’s Homecoming Carnival. If the unusually low number holds through tomorrow’s registration deadline at 2:10pm, John Sharbaugh, nicknamed the “Carnival King” for his role as the event’s lead organizer, says he would recommend cancelling it.
“Thirteen booths at a carnival is not what we want. We need more for the carnival to be successful,” explained Sharbaugh. While the decision to cancel or proceed with the carnival ultimately lies with the administration, Sharbaugh would advise them to choose the former should the number of clubs remain unchanged through tomorrow’s end of the school day deadline.
Although Sharbaugh emphasized that there is no exact minimum number of clubs needed for the carnival to occur, he did mention that it would be best to have at least twenty booths at the carnival.
In order to sign up for the carnival, club sponsors must complete and submit a fundraising form to Cheryl Beall, Centennial’s bookkeeper, and notify her that they will have a Carnival booth.
As of now, the Homecoming Carnival is scheduled for Saturday, September 28 from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Clubs typically set up their booths and fundraise by offering games or selling food and drinks. According to Beall, around 40 clubs participated in the carnival last year. She estimated that clubs normally fundraise between $50 and $100 each, and around $3,000 total at the carnival. Losing this fundraising source could negatively impact many clubs because, as Sharbaugh pointed out, “the carnival is the main fundraising activity most clubs do all year.”
In past years, the carnival has been held on the Friday afternoon of Homecoming weekend, not Saturday morning as it is this year. According to Sharbaugh, the move came over concerns about the safety and supervision of students between the end of the carnival and the start of the football game. The lack of club interest in the Homecoming Carnival this year might be due, in part, to these scheduling changes.
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