The clowns are back as the Andona Society is hosting its ever-popular Clown Town event May 19 and 20 in The Park, located downtown at the corner of Chestnut and Bartlet streets.
It's the 61st year for Clown Town, a two-day event ideal for young families as there are carnival rides and games along with food and drinks.
"Andona's Clown Town is a big family carnival," said Andona Society President Jennifer Sloan. "It's our biggest fundraiser and all proceeds raised by Andona go to Andover Public Schools and youth programs. Clown Town is an old-fashioned carnival with rides, games, food, music, raffle items and much, much more. Visitors really enjoy it."
It's also been a long time for the rides operator.
Sloan said Cushing Amusements has been running rides and midway games at Andona's Clown Town for more than 35 years. Cushing tickets never expire although few families go home with tickets.
Presale tickets are a great way to avoid long lines at Clown Town and Andona has a custom of selling presale tickets at The Park before Clown Town officially opens. Pre-sale tickets will be sold on Thursday, May 18, from 4 to 7 p.m.
All proceeds raised by Andona go to Andover Public Schools and youth programs through a grant application fund.
"Our fund request process is very successful as we pay for a summer campership program for needy children, swimming lessons for handicapped children of Andover and scholarships for graduating seniors, to name some of the programs that we help," Sloan said.
Andona, now celebrating its 65th year, also donated over $11,000 to local schools this year. The money was used to buy books, team uniforms and much more. Andona also awards about $20,000 in scholarships each year.
Sloan said sponsors are important to Clown Town revenues and the premiere Big Top Sponsors this year are Lannan Mazda (returning long time big top sponsor), Andover Stop and Shop (returning big top sponsor thanks to strong support through the years from store manager, Joe Mangaro), Primrose School (new sponsor this year) and Pfizer Andover has been a loyal supporter and donor to Andona over the years.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Clown Town
WHERE: The Park, corner of Chestnut and Bartlet streets, downtown Andover
WHEN: Friday, May 19, 6 to 10 p.m. (carnival rides and games only); Saturday, May 20, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (all carnival rides and games plus all Andona booths including face painting, kiddie games, slush, yard sale, booth sponsors, sand art, etc.). Heavy rain date is Sunday, May 21, noon to 6 p.m.
PRE-SALE TICKETS: Sold on Thursday, May 18, at The Park, from 4 to 7 p.m.
PROCEEDS BENEFIT: Children of Andover
STUDENT VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Clown Town is a great opportunity to participate in a community service. Saturday, May 20, student volunteers in grade 6 and up are needed for shifts in Andona’s field booths. Volunteer hours are in 2-hour shifts from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. High school students needed to help with field set up from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and field breakdown from 4 to 5 p.m. Visit Andona.org for more details or email firstname.lastname@example.org.