Bring Back the Carnival: Our Story.
Inside an opening, on a typical January night in Mishawum Park, an idea soon became the foundation for our future campaign. Although none of us had ever experienced the carnival in Charlestown, we grew up hearing stories repetitively.
That the same night we brainstormed ways to raise funds for the Parade, since most of us are broke high school and college students. Then it all clicked, our incentive was to resurrect the long dormant tradition, the carnival, in order to assist another tradition, the parade.
Thanks to social media, our idea spread rapidly via Facebook. Support enumerated our expectations. Soon enough, a committee came together (a mixture of Townies who have fond memories of the carnival and Townies that have none). We all had one common goal, to bring it back. Since we were all Townies, we then became the Townie Association.
Our next step was to explore the many different carnival amusement options and scout various locations within Charlestown. We sat down with various community leaders seeking advice and guidance, and made the necessary connections. After extensive research, we presented in front of the Charlestown Neighborhood Council, who supported our idea. The only issue was that we could not find a secure location to host such an event. Months later, we are still searching and will soon be negotiating for the perfect venue.
During the 2012 Bunker Hill Day Parade, with the help of many Charlestown organizations, business, and residents, the Townie Association started a new campaign, Paint the Town: Red, White, & Blue! Our goal was to make Charlestown as festive as possible through patriotic decorations. We hand delivered letters to businesses and residences along the parade route which encouraged our neighbors to decorate for the parade. With the help of many Townies, we blew up over 600 balloons and adorned every street light pole along the parade route with these visible decorations the night before the parade. The atmosphere was filled with both revelry and patriotism. It truly was a spectacular sight to witness Charlestown so responsive, festive, and celebratory for one of the most historical battles in American history.
Another factor of the Paint the Town: Red, White, & Blue campaign was the construction of our very own float for the parade. Our float was carnival themed to remind people of our mission, but also American themed to show our pride in Bunker Hill Day. We marched in the parade, throwing patriotic themed beads, candy, and blasting off confetti into the crowds. The citizens of Charlestown proudly cheered us on.
As of now, we are conducting research on the carnival in Charlestown during the Bunker Hill Parade Week in the 19th and 20th century. We have come across a group called the 17th of June Carnival Association, which in the mid 20th Century brought the famous New Orleans Electrical Light Show to the Bunker Hill Parade via floats. We have also discovered that in one point in Charlestown history, there were two carnivals operating during the Bunker Hill Parade Week. One was held down the Neck while Saint Catherine of Siena Parish hosted its own carnival.
Currently, we are continuing our signature drive. Our first online signature drive went viral. Since then we have created a second online signature drive, which you can sign and share by clicking the link below. We also have a hard copy petition streaming around Charlestown. If you come into contact with someone outreaching for signatures, please sign as every signature counts.
At this time, we are persistently engaging our supporters through social media outlooks such as Facebook and Twitter. We not only promote the carnival, but also other events within Charlestown as well as Charlestown culture and history. Once our research on the history of the carnival is completed, we plan on updating the community with our discoveries.
Lastly, as we anticipate raising funds for the Bunker Hill Day Parade through the carnival, we also plan to have other possible fundraisers for the parade. We hope we can collaborate with every other organization within the neighborhood in order to achieve our goal. If we involve all residents, we could potentially increase funds and participation for the parade. By targeting younger Townies, we hope to ensure that the Parade lives on for In the future generations.
We hope that entire community of Charlestown can rally around us by helping us bring back the tradition of the carnival to the annual Bunker Hill Parade Week festivities. We are confident that with our hard work and the support from the community, the carnival will come back next June!
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