Kiowa County brings back carnival fun games during fair week activities
Kiowa County Extension Agent Mindy Heinson and Kiowa County Fair Board member Christina McFadden decided this was the year to restart an old Kiowa County Fair event, the carnival. There used to be a carnival on a regular basis at the fair before the 2007 tornado destroyed the games and events, so this was the first one since then.
"Christina and I came up with it, and we just kind of ran with it," said Heinson. "We contacted businesses and to see who would be interested in having booths."
This item stemmed from a desire for community members to know that the fair is for more than 4-H. Heinson said she saw people there she hadn't seen in forever and felt that shouldn't happen while living in a small town, so this event served its purpose to bring people together. Heinson Farms, Homestead Insurance, the Health Department, the Greensburg City Police Department, 4-H Council, and various community members worked to put together the following booths: Hay scramble, pop a shot, ping pong ball toss, balloon pop, pin the tail on the donkey, cotton candy machine, dunk tank, snow-cone machine, face painting, cake walk, egg toss, 3-legged race, toilet paper toss, photo booth, football throw, and an inflatable obstacle course.
Heinson said there was fun to be had by all, not just kids. When it came time for the egg toss, there were at least 30 groups of both kids and adults ready to play.
"The highlight of the carnival for me as the Extension Agent was the togetherness that was shown. Businesses, community members, and the 4-Her’s came together to provide a good time for all," said Heinson. "It was a good time and I am looking forward to the carnival next year!"
For Jennifer Kooken, owner of Homestead Insurance, the reason she wanted to participate goes back to her childhood.
"It’s about the experience. Small towns especially want their kids to return to their communities as adults. Any time I do something for my community it’s because of the examples of community involvement I had growing up here," said Kooken. "It’s not about being a business owner, it’s about being a community member. However, community support of my business allows me to give back and do for the community, just like sponsoring a booth at the carnival."
Kooken's booth was all the rage for the youngsters, who enjoyed winning goldfish all night.
Heinson said the date of the carnival is already on the schedule for next year. With the dedication of Heinson and McFadden, along with community support, there are no limits to the amount of fun it can be.