LAKE HOPATCONG - For the first time in the nine-year history of the Our Lady Star of the Sea Carnival, the four-day long event operated rain free. The carnival opened its doors Wednesday night and concluded with a packed crowd Saturday night.
“This is the first year we’ve had four days in a row without rain, and we’ve had four nice days,” said event coordinator Eric Wilsusen, a church trustee. “There have been times where we just couldn’t open because of the bad weather,” he said.
Wilsusen estimates that over the four nights more than 2000 people attended the carnival, including 200 volunteers, and that like in past years, they will clear a profit between $20,000 and $30,000.
The money is used to pay the mortgage on the parish center, which was built on to the back of the church in 2003. Thanks to the profits from the carnival, the loan on the parish center will be paid by September, said Father Christopher Muldoon, pastor of OLSS, who attended the carnival each night.
According to Wilsusen, hosting the carnival at the church was always a good way to offset the cost of the parish center mortgage. It has been a success. In the nine years, the profits from the carnival total close to $250,000.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Father Muldoon. “But it’s an awful lot of work,” he said.
Lyndsi Cortese (second from left), 12, from Jefferson, has perfect aim and beats twelve other contestants winning a 'top shelf' prize in the water gun game.
Guilana Koch, 5, from Sparta gives a wave from the carousel.
Two teenagers enjoying the Scrambler ride.
A night at the carnival.
A night at the carnival, on the midway.