A baby takes in some ringside action at one of the carnival's inflatable attractions. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The Philomath Youth Activities Club had a few unknowns to deal with last week going into its first community carnival since 2019.

How would the weather hold out for the event that’s traditionally held on Clemens Field?

Would enough people show up after a couple of years of life with COVID restrictions?

Would a move from the fall to spring impact attendance?

Well, executive director Eddie Van Vlack and the PYAC board and volunteers had some pretty clear answers with the arrival of the June 3 event.

First, the weather was wet that evening and the carnival had to be moved inside the high school with bouncy houses, games, a silent auction and everything else occupying space in both gymnasiums and the auditorium. However, it didn’t seem to affect attendance.

Which brings us to the second question.

Yes, a pretty good crowd of kids, parents, grandparents, family friends, siblings and others got down to the carnival to have a good time. In fact, it was one of the best-attended events I’ve seen since pandemic restrictions went away. A few folks opted to wear masks and of course that’s great but overall, most people didn’t seem to be too worried.

On that third question, a move to the spring turned out to go pretty well. Van Vlack called the carnival a “huge success, probably our second-best ever.” The outcome prompts another question. Should the carnival be a permanent spring celebration to the end of the school year? Van Vlack doesn’t know just yet but he said it’ll be something to definitely consider.

PYAC Carnival attendees take a look at the silent auction table in the PHS auditorium. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

From a personal standpoint, both of my kids had a great time. My 4-year-old saw some of his preschool friends and bounced himself around enough to get a good night’s sleep. My 2-year-old was a little shy at first, not sure about all of the people around but he loosened up a little as the evening went on and even went into a bouncy house.

The best part for my wife and I? The boys avoided any serious meltdowns. Maybe they’re figuring out that throwing a fit when things don’t go their way doesn’t do any good and just makes Mom and Dad a little cranky.

They weren’t alone. Lots of smiles to go around that evening.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at News@PhilomathNews.com).

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.