New community center welcomes annual Peanut Carnival

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PRESQUE ISLE, Me (WAGM) - The Peanut Carnival is an annual tradition in Presque Isle put on by the Rec Department. This event has been going on for around 30 years and this was the first year it was held in the Sargent Family Community Center.

"We were able to add six additional activities and put in a bounce house this year. We've had the Shriners clowns come and show people how they put on their makeup. Been handing out balloon animals that they've been making. We opened up the area and made a casino room and photo booth for kids," said Brad Boyles of the Presque Isle rec department.

The peanut carnival is a tradition for kids in Aroostook County.

"We call it the peanut carnival just to follow suit. For years and years and years that's what it has been called. Since there has been so many allergies we just changed it to coins, but still call it peanut carnival. The kids pay two dollars to get into the door that enters them into a chance to win the two bikes you see behind me, donated by Live Well United," Boyles explained.

There were plenty of different games and activities for kids to do. And at the end of the day everyone walked away with a prize and a great memory.

"I liked getting my face painted and hanging out with friends and doing some of the games and stuff," Kacie Marston said.

"One of them was Darts. That got me a lot of coins, and I think that was the only one that got me more coins than one," Spencer Locke added.

Boyles said the turnout was larger than expected this year.

"We always look between 200-250 people. This year we're just over 300. Of course I think the weather helped slightly, which is always a good thing," he said.

He also said the day went well in the new Community Center and was happy to add to the event that kids look forward to every year.

"There was some good groundwork laid down by Keith Hayward and Dick Gardner years and years and years ago. Tradition is very important for Aroostook County folk and we like to keep things like that going. Now that we've had a chance to make it a little bit bigger, we're very happy to jump on that and expand," Boyles said.