carnival1 300OWENSBORO, Ky. (5/1/13) – Tamarack Elementary School is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a special opportunity during its annual carnival. The carnival has been an Owensboro tradition for almost three generations, but there might not be such tradition if not for Tamarack’s first principal, Glenn Young. The carnival was the brainchild of Young, who organized it as a fundraiser for the school.

The first-ever carnival was held on April 16, 1963, and cost $429.00. The school’s profit was $46.60. Despite the shortfall, the carnival has become an instrumental part in the school’s fundraising efforts. This year, it is expected to generate between $8,000 and $10,000 in proceeds.

Young was the principle of Tamarack Elementary School when it first opened in 1963. He said that in the first year the carnival had only three rides.

“One of the rides is a swing ride that was built in 1929,” said Young. “They still use a remodeled version of that ride in the carnival today.”

Young also recalled a story about a drainage ditch that ran alongside the dirt road that would later become Tamarack Road.

“People always drove into that ditch,” said Young. “Every year, people would drive by and see the carnival at the school, and every year, we had to tow someone out of that ditch because they always ran off the road while looking at the carnival.”

The proceeds from this year’s carnival will go to finance new SMART boards, Accelerated Reader Incentives, and classroom supplies.

“I’m extremely proud to have been the first principle at Tamarack,” Young said, “and I’m proud to have been there for the beginning.”

Rides, chili supper, concessions and games begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 3, with rides and games open until 10 p.m. Bargain bracelets are available for $15 each, allowing the wearer to ride as many rides as s/he wishes.The carnival resumes with rides and concessions for two sessions on Saturday – from noon to 5 p.m. and from 5 to 10 p.m. – with bargain bracelets available for rides during each session.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, all current and former Tamarack students, families and staff members are invited to a special open house and carnival from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 5. Cake will be served at 1 p.m., and those attending may enjoy tours of Tamarack to see how much things have changed over the years.

 “We’re the oldest elementary school in the Daviess County Public schools,” said principal Allison Coomes. “But on the inside we have lots of the updates from recent years, and would like for folks to come walk down memory lane.”

The day will also feature special ride prices of only 25 cents each.

“We look forward to the Tamarack Carnival every year as an opportunity to welcome back those who have enjoyed this event as part of their family tradition,” said Coomes. “We are excited about this year’s ‘homecoming’ event as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our school and the carnival.”

This is Coomes’ ninth year as principle of Tamarack Elementary. Previously, she was a teacher at the school.

Alex Reid
SurfKY News
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