Monroe Elementary School’s Great Pumpkin Fair is a town tradition

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Nora Monsalve, left, and Kyra Goss are co-chairs of the 41st Great Pumpkin Fair to be held at Monroe Elementary School, 375 Monroe Turnpike, on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monroe Elementary School’s campus will come to life with bounce houses, face painting and pumpkin decorating during the 41st annual Great Pumpkin Fair on Saturday, Oct. 19.

The day will include raffles, vendors, a bake sale, music and escape rooms. Hungry visitors can munch on slices of pizza and hamburgers and hot dogs off the grill.

“It’s a family fun day with colors of the season and pumpkin decorating for the beginning of fall,” said Nora Monsalve.

Monsalve and Kyra Goss are co-chairs of the Monroe Elementary School PTO’s event, which will be held at the school, 375 Monroe Turnpike, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is free and the activities start at 50 cents. Just as in previous years, the first 100 families to arrive will receive a bag filled with advertisements from businesses and professionals in the area, including flyers, goodies, free passes, coupons and business cards.

The fair is the PTO’s biggest fundraiser and all of the proceeds go directly back to the children of Monroe Elementary School, supplementing expenses for things not included in the Board of Education budget.

Among the things past fairs have funded were inclusive playground equipment, musical instruments, school supplies teachers would otherwise have to pay for themselves, and new enrichment programs and learning experiences for students.

Goss said the fair raises over $5,000 every year, adding this year’s goal is to reach or top $6,000.

“The Pumpkin Fair is clearly a treasured event for Monroe Elementary,” said Principal Kelly Svendsen. “It’s truly our school’s way of bringing something special to the community at large. From my very first day as principal, the PTO has been working tirelessly to make the day special, and I can’t wait to experience it for the first time next month. I hope many people join us.”

The grill is back

Around 200 volunteers are expected to help the fair run at different times throughout the day. Among them are Masuk High School students, teachers and parents. Monsalve said middle school students can volunteer too, but must be accompanied by an adult.

“One parent has been volunteering for 27 years now,” said Monsalve. “He and his wife don’t have kids in the school anymore, but they really love helping out at the event, because it’s a town tradition.”

Among the vendors are Baum Braces, Perfectly Posh, Craftology Bee, Stella & Dot, Little Red Pennies Jewelry and Touchstone Crystal.

Pies from Jennie’s Pizzeria will be brought in and hamburgers and hot dogs will be grilled onsite. “Last year, we gave up the grill, but didn’t realize it’s a key part of the fair,” Goss said.

Goss and Monsalve expressed their gratitude to sponsors Spadaccino and Leo P. Gallagher & Son Community Funeral Home, for its generous annual donation, and Jennie’s Pizzeria for providing pizza for all the PTO’s events.

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