A ton of thrills and chills… James Drew Exposition carnival set to run through Sunday

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, June 12, 2019




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It’s no secret that the carnival has come back to town, especially if one has driven past the Elizabethton High School parking lot recently.

The James Drew Exposition kicked off its annual carnival that benefits the Elizabethton High School Athletic Parent Organization as one of its major fundraisers for the upcoming school year.

Rides opened up on Tuesday night and will be echoing with screams and laughter every night through Sunday, June 16.

“What brought the carnival to the Elizabethton High School parking lot was the Athletic Parent Organization (APO),” Elizabethton High School Athletic Director Forrest Holt shared on Tuesday. “It’s Drew Exposition out of Georgia and I don’t know how many years it has been going on.

“The APO basically signs a contract with Drew Exposition and they are good enough to work with organizations and work with our organization to come here.

“They donate a percentage of their ticket sales and income that they get at the carnival back to our Athletic Parent Organization in return for using the facilities here at the high school,” continued Holt.

After a year that saw slow conditions due to bad weather last year, Holt was optimistic that with the current weather forecast that this year could be a lot better than last.

“I don’t know the exact number from last year but it was a little over $5,000 I think that they donated as a percentage and they said that was a slow week for them last time as I think that the weather wasn’t great,” stated Holt.

“They are back now and will be here from Tuesday until Sunday, June 16. The weather is supposed to be good as it looks like there will be no rain through the rest of this week.”

Holt went on to add that the school sign as well as the local radio station, WBEJ, promotes the fact the carnival is for the APO which helps to draw in people to take advantage of an evening of fun which in turn helps out the APO.

“That is a good chunk of money for one event if you consider all that you do throughout the year,” Holt said. “You try not to nickel and dime — kind of reach over a dollar to pick up a quarter sort of thing.

“So the involvement that we have with the carnival coming is just a simple, ‘Hey, they are in the parking lot, we get a percentage that we don’t really have to do anything.’”

Holt added that the APO is not directly involved in the operation of the carnival aside from signing the contract that allows the traveling business the opportunity to use the school’s parking lot.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to make that amount of money at one time with minimal effort,” Holt went on to say. “We don’t have to do anything — it’s a great fundraiser. It would be nice to have more like it where you don’t have to get out and do so much footwork.”

The carnival has acted as an early boost to help the APO have funds necessary to purchase items that are sold at their booth during home football games in the upcoming season.

“It supplements the APO and gets them off to a good start to help them get some gear going into football season to sell in their booth,” Holt commented.

And while the school isn’t actively involved in the oversight of the carnival, there are requirements in place to protect against any unforeseeable incidents that may take place while the carnival is on the school grounds.

“They are liable,” Holt said when asked about the responsibility that comes with something like a traveling carnival. “They have liability insurance that they provide. Ultimately, it’s their business and their liability.

“That’s what we would do with anybody using our facilities. They get liability insurance that they turn in. They come in and run their business, the carnival, and we benefit from it.”

The carnival has rides that all ages can enjoy from the young to the old. There will also be all types of carnival food available from candy apples to cotton candy and more.