Rotary Club carnival lights up holiday weekend
By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Norwich - posted Wed., Jun. 1, 2011
The community carnival that drew happy crowds to the Norwich waterfront May 26 through 30 will likely stage a comeback next year.
“We’d like to see this be an annual event for the community,” said Norwich Rotary Club President Bonnie Hong. “It seemed to be something that people really enjoyed.”
The Rotary Club would like to repeat the carnival even though, according to Hong, “with all the expenses associated with a carnival, it’s not a good fundraiser.”
The carnival was planned to raise money for the construction of an electric trolley, intended as a prototype for a local manufacturing operation that would provide jobs in Norwich, Hong said.
The city didn’t have the funding resources for support services for the carnival, so the Rotary Club had to pick up the tab, Hong said. Costs associated with the fireworks display on Saturday were especially high, she said.
“If we do it again, it’ll be because it’s simply good for the community,” said Hong. “I heard comments, and people were very excited. It was good to hear, and to know that we brought in people from outside communities, as well.
“The more events that are held in downtown, the easier it is for people to realize that this is a vibrant city,” said Hong. “That creates more excitement and more willingness for businesses to move here.”
Hong had high praise for the staff of Rockwell Amusements, which provided the midway. Hong said the staff members went out of their way to accommodate kids with disabilities. She said she watched one game operator discretely “help” a disabled girl who had trouble shooting baskets in his booth. “She went home with a teddy bear. She was just thrilled,” Hong said.