April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Community center to revive Hope town fair

By HSJ Online [email protected]

The Community Center of Hope has plans to revive a town tradition -- a community fair held over Memorial Day weekend.

The event would be a fundraiser for the community center and would feature rides, children's activities and food booths on the inner circle of the Town Square, starting on Friday, May 27th and running through Monday, May 30th.

Tom Cuneo, president of the center's board of directors, presented the plan to the Town Council at the council's Monday night meeting.

"We would like to revitalize what my understanding was a tradition in Hope for some time by bringing in a fair/carnival," Cuneo said.

The proposed event does not yet have a formal name, but Cuneo said the center would like to adopt a marketable name and reinstate the fair as an annual event.

"We really want this to be a big thing for the town every year," Cuneo said.

He said the Community Center had already talked with Huesman Amusements of Shelbyville to set up and operate the event. They would have 12 rides, four food trailers and eight to 10 game booths.

The workers for the carnival would stay in trailers they provide, to be located at the Community Center.

The plan would also benefit the food pantry by requesting visitors to donate food in exchange for ride tickets.

The request to the Town Council was to allow the center to shut down the inner ring of the Town Square from May 26th to May 31st to set up and break down the carnival. Cuneo said none of the rides or booths would be set up on the actual grass on the square, but rather on the parking areas. A temporary headquarters for the event would be set up in the Bartholomew County Public Library annex.

Food booths would include popcorn, elephant ears, pizza and sausage with onions. Cuneo said the center would also be open to other local not-for-profit groups offering food for sale. Council President Clyde Compton suggested that the Hope Volunteer Fire Department might consider setting up a food booth.

Hours for the event are still being considered but Cuneo said they would likely be open on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Memorial Day.

Town Council members were concerned that there is not enough time to get the event properly considered and approved beforehand. Councilman Ohmer Miller said the event should have come before the council back in January, rather than in March.

Among the concerns, Councilman Greg Sims suggested that the plan needed approval from the town police. Cindy Boll, the town attorney, and Miller said the insurance documentation needed time to be reviewed.

Councilman Jonathan Titus suggested that the start of the fair be delayed on Memorial Day itself, so it did not overlap with services put on by the American Legion at the cemetery. He said he did not believe it would be appropriate to have the solemn event overwhelmed by carnival music and sounds coming from nearby.

Miller said he wanted to ensure that there was still adequate parking for customers of businesses on the Town Square. Also, Miller questioned why the event could not be held on the empty lot the Community Center owns on the north side of the square. Cuneo said there would not be enough room on the lot and the ground would be too soft should it rain that weekend.

Cuneo said that once the event is approved by the Town Council, the community center would acquire all of the necessary permits from the state and would have the rides inspected by the state before the event.

The Town Council put off the approval for consideration at the April council meeting.[[In-content Ad]]