Monday, October 8, 2012

Halloween School Carnival


In the early 1940’s , our grammar school encouraged the students to attend the Halloween Carnival held on Friday evening prior to Halloween.  Tickets were five cents each or six for a quarter.  Mother the three of us children fifty cents apiece to get the bargain price.  Twelve tickets each would be enough for a great fun time.

The carnival began at 7:00 PM with a variety show.  Many of our classmates were excited to be in the show.  Our class choral group opened the program with a song about harvest time.  Several students took turns with their specialty of tap dancing, ballet or other types of dance.  Other kids played an instrument or sang a solo.  The variety show was only available this one time, so everyone needed to be early to get a good seat.

In one of the classrooms there were movies set up with cartoons “reel to reel” showing Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse.  It took two tickets to see both features. 

In the school lunch room, there was cup cakes, popcorn balls and punch each for a ticket. 

Also in the lunch room, there was also a large tub filled with apples, and for a ticket you could bob for apples.  The secret was to find one with a stem and catch it between your teeth.  Other wise some of the boys would push the apple to the bottom and take a bite.  That worked for them, but not for me.

One lady from the PTA was dressed as a gypsy and was telling fortunes.  She actually made up a nice story for each person, because she really could not tell the future.
At one hall way at the far end on there was a curtain stretched across the hall shielding the person behind the curtain.  This was the place where you could fish for a prize.  For one ticket, you were given a pole with a piece of twine attached and at the end was a clothes pin.  The PTA mother would collect the ticket and help throw the twine over the curtain.  Soon you would feel a tug, because you had caught a prize.  The prizes were cheap rings, bracelets, small cars and airplanes, depending on who was fishing.

The mystery of what we would secure for our prize was worth the five cent ticket.

At 8:00 PM there was a dance in the auditorium, and some of it was square dancing then some waltz music. 

By 9:00 PM the carnival was over at least for the students.

While setting up the events for the carnival took time, the clean up took even more time.  Perishables were offered at a discount and everything had to be packed and put away.

Willing hands make light work, and the teachers and PTA helpers all pitched in.

Children returned home, happy and ready for bed after an exciting and safe celebration.

This post is shared at:  “Tell Me a True Story”



  1. Oh, I just loved reading this. (I might be the most halloween-loving Christian EVER.)

  2. The good ole' days... Now every kid there would be looking at their cell phone along with most of the parents... Progress huh?

  3. Ahhh... the good ole' days... Now all the kids would be expecting interactive games and not paying attention while looking at their cell phones... along with the parents... Progress huh?

  4. As Floyd has indicated, life has changed as he described the "progress". Makes me want to scream sometimes.... although I can't b/c I'm expected to be too nice. Oh, well...

    The other issue? Back in those days... until about 40 years ago ... Halloween was just a time to do some of those fun aspects and play, and, of course, put on a funny costume and get candy. Then, when I lived in Redwood City, in '70-ish, the Satanic priest in S.F. began to use that "holiday" as his time for worship world-wide. And it was taken on immediately, and also much other occult stuff dropped in suddenly and firmly. I have refused to do any "fun" activities connected to Halloween ever since. [My kids and g-kids don't agree with me, but, oh, well...]

    I'm glad you [and I] were at the age when the days surrounding it were simply fun family times. Makes it worth a heart-grin.

  5. You have an amazing memory, my dear, for the details! We celebrated similarly to this when the kids were little and we parents put on "Hallelujah" parties at the church. We dressed as biblical characters.

  6. Thanks Hazel for the reminder of all of those fun times in October. In Texas we did much the same thing and we looked so forward to it as a family. It was just clean fun and there was never a lot of stress. Very much worth writing about! Love you!


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