CHATHAM, NJ - The Corpus Christi Carnival is in full swing on the grounds of the Corpus Christi Church on Southern Boulevard in Chatham. With an excellent weekend weather forecast, many area residents are looking forward to attending. The carnival which features rides, games, and delicious food is known as one of the most enjoyable church fairs in the area. It has been an annual event in Chatham for the past 15 years.
Thousands of people from surrounding towns attend annually. The Alberts of Chatham were some of the first to arrive at the fair on Thursday evening. Gary, Alison, Hayden, and Hunter attend every year. Hayden and Hunter agreed that the giant slide is their favorite ride and they hoped to win some prizes at the game booths. In past years, the children brought home stuffed animal toys, a teddy bear and a duck.
Roseann McDonough, Corpus Christi's Parish Administrator said that the fair is the church's major fundraiser. "There are activities for everyone from preschoolers to adults." She points out that its real significance is "community building." The community comes together to volunteer 400 man hours to the carnival by running the games, preparing food, working at the food court, and providing logistical support. Roseann also attributes the success of the carnival to the committee people who have been generous with their time and attention to the planning. They include Mike Mulvaney, Phil Ortolani, Mark Kapsky, Peter Daquila, Dottie Rudnick, Joe Cooney, Sheila Allen, Marybeth Clark, and Ann Rendina.
The food court has menu items to suit every taste including sausage and peppers, pizza, burgers, hot dogs, fries, and onion rings. There is also a bake sale with lots of homemade goodies made by members of the Corpus Christi parish. There is generous seating where people can relax and enjoy their food. Every night a 50/50 raffle is held. Beth Kupchinsky was one of the volunteers selling the 50/50 tickets for $1.00 each. She expected sales to be brisk during the carnival.
Tommy's Midway provides the amusements. Among the children's rides are a train and a dragon coaster. Thrill rides include "The Zipper," the ever popular "Round Up" and there are swings and a ferris wheel for all ages.
Games are provided by Palabin. There are games of skill and games chance games for fun and prizes. Three of Corpus Christi's parish volunteers, Ellen, Nick, and Tom enjoyed manning the game booths. Tom said, "It's always fun to work at the fair. The comaraderie with the other volunteers is terrific!"
Another feature of the fair is the "Creativity Corner" which was organized by Michelle Spinelli. Michelle said that all ages of children would enjoy the activities including face painting and tattoos. She also planned some special games suitable for preschoolers to keep young guests entertained. At the booth, Danielle Glancey created artistic face painting designs. Brendan Hayes, another volunteer at "Creativity Corner" commented, "It's nice to volunteer, I'm having fun."
The Corpus Christi Carnival is open on Friday from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. and promises to be a very enjoyable outing for everyone.