Locals enjoy carnival in Sparta
Our Lady of the Lake hold annual event
Photos by John Church Melanie Gilmore, 8, and Ashley Gilmore, 8, on the merry-go-round Friday night.
Left to right: Aidan Esperance, 10, of Jefferson, Carly Studt, 9, of Lafayette and Rebecca Yetter, 10, of Sparta, on the Scrambler at the Our Lady of the Lake carnival.
Davin Picinic, 3, of Sparta, got the front seat on the train ride.
An opportunity to see the world from a different perspective, upside down.
Vivienne Cristiano, 3, and her mother Jeanne on the merry-go-round at the Our Lady of the Lake carnival.
Kristian Vozza, 6, of Sparta, takes aim with a pop gun that is almost as big as he is at the Our Lady of the Lake carnival Friday night.
Ryan Clark, 9, of Sparta, lets gravity do all the work on the Giant Slide Friday night.
Lyla Horowitz, 6, of Sparta, on the Giant Slide Friday night.
Justin Vozza takes aim with a pop gun as his nephew Kristian Vozza, 6, watches.
Jimmy, 3, and Kayla, 7, of Andover Township, go for a spin on a pink elephant.
By John Church
SPARTA — The organizers of the Our Lady of the Lake Parish carnival had their eyes on the sky as showers passed through Sparta just as the carnival opened for business July 11.
“We had a rough start with the rain both Wednesday and Thursday evenings,” said event chairman Frank Belardo.
The annual event held on the church property at the corner of Newton-Sparta Road and County Rt. 517, combined carnival rides and games of chance with an indoor rummage sale, all to support the local parish and a church in Haiti.
The passing rain was not all bad as outdoor carnival fans quickly became bargain hunters at the indoor rummage sale. The money raised from the rummage sale supports Our Lady of the Nativity in Acul de Nord, Haiti.
Volunteer Jim Bashant was one of the parishioners who went to Haiti in April to help build additional classrooms.
“They are expanding the school,” Bashant said. “They had classrooms to teach up through the sixth grade. They just added four rooms and classes through the eighth grade and will add a ninth grade by September.”
Our Lady of the Lake parish also sends a shipping container filled with school supplies and food for the lunch program. The shipment has become an annual event for the church.
Relatively cool and dry weather coincided with pay-one-price ride night Friday and the festival was crowded.
Younger guests got off one ride and ran to another.
“Tonight is unbelievable so far,” Belardo said. “We are really happy.”
On Saturday carnival fans enjoyed slightly warmer weather.
For more photos visit www.spartaindependent.com.
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