By Judy Wakefield
---- — They won’t be plastered with company logos, but the clowns at this weekend’s ClownTown will have some added support behind them.
Lannan Mazda, a car dealership in Lowell, has signed on to ClownTown as the first field sponsor in the event’s 57-year history.
Jodi Saia-Witte, chairwoman of the 2013 ClownTown, said Lannan approached The Andona Society, the philanthropic women’s group that hosts the old-fashioned carnival, with the proposal to sponsor this year’s event.
Given that all the money raised by the two-day ClownTown fundraiser set for this Friday and Saturday benefits the youth of Andover, The Andona Society accepted the offer for some added financial backing.
“It’s money for our youth programs and we run a lot of programs, like (summer) camp scholarships and scholarships for high-schoolers,” Saia-Witte said.
The car dealership will join nine corporate-sponsored booths — three more than last year — that will be set up along the main brick path in The Park at Chestnut and Bartlet streets, where ClownTown is held. Sponsors pay $500 each for their booths.
“We could have many more booths, but we only have so much room,” Saia-Witte said.
The increase in corporate sponsors isn’t the only news surrounding this year’s ClownTown.
Saia-Witte said the No. 1 question kids at ClownTown ask is, “Where’s the candy?” This year, the clowns will have a sure-fire response thanks to the debut of Wacky Candy. The 20-foot mobile candy shop will be pulling into Andover for the event
“Kids go in one door and out another with candy they bought. We think kids and parents will like it,” Saia-Witte said.
Also debuting is a Teddy Bear Clinic. Youngsters can drop off their prized stuffed bears with veterinarian Dr. Meg from Andover Mobile Vet for a check-up, then pick them back up on the way home.
“It’s going to be a fun time for everyone,” Saia-Witte said.
IF YOU GO
What: ClownTown, hosted by The Andona Society
When: Friday, May 17, 6 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with rides extending until 8 p.m. In event of heavy rains, abbreviated make-up date is Sunday, May 19.
Where: The Park at Bartlet and Chestnut streets, Andover
How: Free admission. Fees for rides, games, food. Visit www.andona.org.
He’s Andover High’s famed football coach — and now there’s a chance to dunk him at ClownTown.
And since all the money from the event benefits youth programs, the advice from event host The Andona Society is to go at him fast and hard.
Clowntown’s Dunk Tank lineup was announced Tuesday and football coach and West Elementary School teacher Ernie Perry, who also coaches the boys volleyball team, surely got the short end of the lineup straw. Perry sits sixth — and last — in the dunk tank from 3 to 4 p.m. It’s usually when the water is the dirtiest, organizers say.
Here’s the full good sport lineup:
10 to 11 a.m.: Selectman Dan Kowalski (cold, but clean water)
11 a.m. to noon: Dan Gillette
Noon to 1 p.m.: West Middle School Principal Stephen Murray
1 to 2 p.m.: Andover Youth Services
2 to 3 p.m.: Coach Michelle Doucette
3 to 4 p.m.: Ernie Perry (warmer, but dirty water)
— Judy Wakefield