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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Jaycees Carnival makes 79th appearance in Monett

Monday, July 13, 2009

Smiles are what comes from riding the attractions at the Monett Jaycees Carnival, as seen from this participant last year. [Times Photo by Charles Brady]
The 79th annual Monett Jaycees Carnival, a traditional highpoint of the summer season, will open on Wednesday and run through Saturday. The event offers fun for "children of all ages," according to Sherry Hull, Jaycees carnival chairman.

For the 17th year, the carnival will be set up to the south and west of the soccer fields at Monett South Park, accessible with convenient parking off of Waldensian Road. The carnival will be open from 6:30 to 10 p.m. each evening.

Tickets are $1 at the gate or three for $1 in advance from Top Hat Cleaners on West Broadway in Monett. As in past years, Hull said, any business purchasing 300 tickets ($100) or more will be listed on the Jaycees' "We Support Monett Through Jaycees" billboard which will be displayed at the carnival.

The rides, games and other fun activities that have made the Jaycees Carnival popular in the past will be back. Included will be the duck pond, cork gun shooting range, merry-go-round, darts, bus, train, cars, boats, rockets, water wars and Ferris wheel. The dunk tank will be operated this year by the Purdy High School cheerleaders and band.

Concessions will also be available and will include hot dogs, corn dogs, funnel cakes, cotton candy, popcorn and sodas, allowing families to get a full meal and spend an evening at the carnival. Operating the concession stand will be members of the Jaycees.

The carnival is one of the longest continuing activities in the area. It was first offered in 1930, just a year after the Jaycees were organized in Monett. The event was hosted annually through 1986. After a year's absence, it was revived and has continued uninterrupted ever since.

"Due to high insurance costs and updating regulations of the state, it's getting harder to keep the carnival going," said Hull.

As the major fundraiser of the year for the Jaycees, the carnival provides financial support for the club to run its various programs, which include the Toys for Tots campaign at Christmas, Thanksgiving baskets, a Monett High School senior scholarship and assistance with the Barry County Youth Camp and Wonderland Camp.

Jaycees is the shortened name for the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce. Membership is currently open to men and women ages 18 to 40.

The role of the local Jaycees chapter is to be a leadership training organization. Needs of the community are determined, and projects are created to address those concerns.

Leadership, management and organizational skills are developed through hands-on experience of running projects, such as the carnival. Members also experience fellowship through barbecues, float trips, dances, running the radio auction for the Barry County Youth Camp and attending local, regional and state meetings.

"You are never too young or too old for the Jaycees Carnival," Hull said.

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