June 17,  2011

Carnival set for South Park City on June 25
Old fashioned family carnival to raise funds, introduce restored town

By Laura Van Dusen

A carnival similar to those that might have been attended by early-day families of Park County at an end-of-school-year party or county fair will be hosted June 25 at South Park City, the historic recreation Of a 19th-century town within the town limits of Fairplay.

It will be the first-ever carnival in the 52-year history of South Park City.

Any proceeds from the Saturday carnival are earmarked for the 1870s-era Summer Brewery restoration project occurring this year. But the carnival is also a way to get area residents who may not have seen South Park City into the site at a reduced price, said Administrator Cindy Huelsman. Longtime fans are also invited back at the reduced price.

Planned are sack races, games of water balloon toss and bean bag toss, a duck pond with the numbers of winning prizes on the underside of plastic ducks, and other games. And “maybe even a cake walk” will be featured, said Huelsman.

There will be prizes awarded at all of the games and “kids of all ages will go home with something,” she said.

Tickets for the games will be at a minimal price, as will the hot dogs, drinks, cotton candy and other surprises served by the board of directors and volunteers, Huelsman said.

The carnival will happen from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or later if guests haven’t had enough fun by 3 p.m., according to Huelsman.

Historic School House

In the early days of Park County, a carnival — such as the old- fashioned family carnival scheduled for June 25 — might be held on the 1st day of school. This one-room schoolhouse, built in 1879, originally served the community of Garo, on Colorado Highway 9 between• Hartsel and Fairplay. It was moved to South Park City in 1960. (Photo by Laura Van Dusen/The Flume)

A special admission price will be in effect that day. Adults will get in for $3 instead of the usual $9 fee, and children under adult supervision will get in free, whether they’re there for the carnival or to tour the many exhibits. Plans are to set up the carnival at the west end of the street near the train station so that historic buildings can still be toured.

Harley Hamilton — who began his South Park City affiliation in August 1970 as a board member and is president of the board — said that the carnival was Huelsman’s idea and that it is just one of several fundraising projects throughout the May-to-October season.

One favorite fundraiser is the sale of duplicate and excess artifacts from the restored historical town’s collection, which happens this year on Sept. 10 in connection with the Plein Air Festival. (“En Plein Air” is a French expression meaning “in the open air,” particularly used to describe painting in the open air.)

The festival brings artists to various locations in and around South Park to create paintings in the open air.

Hamilton shared some of the more unusual items that have been sold during the last four to five years.

One was a collection of historic European postcards. Hamilton said that since the postcards had nothing to do with Park County or Colorado or even the United States, the board decided to sell them. He said “none of us had any idea of the value,” and board members were surprised when the cards sold for close to $200. That’s when the board found out that it had sold some “real collector’s items.”

Another out-of-the-ordinary item was an antique barber’s chair, not so much because of what the item was, but because the man who bought it was on vacation with his family and had no intention at the beginning of his journey to buy such an unusual souvenir. He bought the chair, stored it at South Park City for four or five months, and then paid to ship it home to the East Coast.