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Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival Continues Over 50-Year Tradition In Darien

The annual Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival returns to Darien on Saturday, Oct. 15.
The annual Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival returns to Darien on Saturday, Oct. 15. Photo Credit: Contributed

DARIEN, Conn. – The Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival is an established favorite fall activity for Fairfield County families, offering something spooky and fun for children both big and small.

Every October for more than 50 years, the Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival has transformed the elementary school, located on Old Farm Road in Darien, into a Halloween-themed haunted house and amusement park where kids of all ages can find delicious food, unique games and activities plus a wide variety of mechanical rides.

This year, the Pumpkin Carnival is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The rain date for the event will be on the following day, Oct. 16.

The 2016 Pumpkin Carnival features rides and attractions suitable for a wide variety of ages. For those seeking a thrill, make sure to try Ali Baba, the Cliffhanger and Zero Gravity. Pre-schoolers are sure to love the cars, trains and spin rides. In addition, the haunted house is not to be missed! Plenty of games and activities will also be available, including Pumpkin Plinko, Ghoulie Goalie and the Apple Launch. This year, School of Rock will perform during the event.

Carnival participants will also be able to enjoy a wide array of tasty foods and beverages from local Darien restaurants, such as Burgers Shakes & Fries, Heights Pizza, Meatball & Co. plus the Melt Mobile. A Newman’s Own lemonade stand will serve refreshments.

The Tokeneke Parent Teacher Organization (TPTO) is responsible for organizing the Pumpkin Carnival.  Local businesses are the key supporters of the event, and the Darien Sports Shop will be this year’s title sponsor. Some of the other sponsors are: East Coast Irrigation; Newman’s Own; Speed Printing & Graphics (SP&G); The Darien News; Darien Rowayton Bank; Fox Hill Builders; Dr. David Osherow, D.D.S; Heights Pizza; Burger Shakes and Fries; The Studio; Deane; Kempo Academy, Renewal by Anderson of Westchester, and The Bar Method Darien.

The funds raised at the Pumpkin Carnival provide critical funding for the Enrichment Program at the Tokeneke Elementary School.  Over the years, the Enrichment Program has helped bring inspirational guests in the arts and sciences into the classroom for personal discussion and instruction with students.

“We are so proud to work closely with the greater Darien community to create a memorable day of family fun,” said Lori Slotkin, a Tokeneke parent and Co-Chair of this year’s event along with fellow Tokeneke parents and Co-Chairs Jodi Sorrells and Kim Sullivan. “Please join us to enjoy the rides, old-fashioned games and delicious food and get a head start on the Halloween spirit.”

Tokeneke School, with 500 students, is one of five elementary schools in Darien. The principal is Mary C. Michelson.

To learn more about the 2016 Pumpkin Carnival visit the website:

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