Have a Blast at El Morro’s Fall Carnival

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By Amy Orr, Special to the Independent

Principal Chris Duddy announces the winner of the Boo Blast t-shirt design, third grader Satya Mansukhani, whose work will appear on next year's t-shirt. Photo by Michelle Cornell.
Principal Chris Duddy announces the winner of the Boo Blast t-shirt design, third grader Satya Mansukhani, whose work will appear on next year’s t-shirt.
Photo by Michelle Cornell.

In a community infused with art, local artwork is often on display. Homegrown talent will be clearly visible at El Morro’s Boo Blast next Friday, Oct. 27; t-shirts for this event feature a drawing done by a young Laguna artist.

This year, 80 El Morro Elementary School students entered the art contest. Blind judging of submissions was done in the district office. A winner was chosen at every grade level and the school’s top sketch, created by third grader Satya Mansukhani, will appear on the front of next year’s Boo Blast t-shirt.

During a school-wide assembly, Principal Chris Duddy revealed the names of all of the contest winners. When Satya was announced as the overall winner, she said she felt really excited and could hear her friends cheering.

“I’ve been drawing ever since I was a little kid,” the 9-year old commented after the ceremony. “I wanted to think of something that would be part of the school, but also go with Halloween. I came up with the idea of Whiskers, the school mascot, looking like a zombie.”

Satya’s artwork shows Whiskers wearing a torn, green tunic. The fur of the somber sea lion is laced with Frankenstein-style scars.

According to Satya’s mom, Anita Sankaran, the art contest was on Satya’s mind before the school year even started. “She worked really hard, and sketched out her drawing during the first week of school,” said Sankaran. “She put in a lot of effort. It was just wonderful when she won.”

Satya said she is looking forward to seeing her work on the Boo Blast t-shirt next year. Event coordinator Michelle Cornell said this year’s shirt design was created by Maggie Wong, a student no longer enrolled in the district. T-shirts, design work, and printing were donated by Volcom.

Although she really likes the games and rides, Satya said her favorite part of Boo Blast is playing with her friends. Now in its 65th year, the fall carnival was designed to bring people together.

“The kids get so excited to come to their school and see it turned into a Halloween carnival,” Duddy said. “It is a terrific time for the community to come together, bond, enjoy themselves, and support the El Morro PTA all at the same time.”

Coordinated by the El Morro PTA, Boo Blast admission is free and the festivities are open to the public. The annual event takes place in the El Morro parking lot on Friday, Oct. 27, from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Parking will be available at state park lots near the school and buses and trolleys will shuttle people back and forth, said Cornell. Cornell and co-chair Tina Steincke have been planning the event since May. By the time the carnival has concluded, over 170 volunteers will have helped with the process.

Each year, El Morro’s picturesque overlook is filled with games and rides. Ride/game tickets are sold for $1 each, with unlimited ride wristbands available for $25.

“You can’t beat a sunset ride on the Ferris wheel,” said Cornell, who also promised the return of a slide, an obstacle course, a cakewalk, and a haunted house. New this year, Cornell said, will be giant swings and a high striker. Inflatables will also be available, including a large pirate ship.

Guests can have spooky makeup done by artists or pose for pictures on the black carpet. Cornell said that once again, Star and his team from the Sawdust Festival will offer an assortment of airbrush tattoos. In addition, a caricature artist will be on hand, sketching silly likenesses in minutes.

With music provided by local radio station KX 93.5, bake sale goodies, and food trucks that include TK Burgers, Hobo Co. Pizza, Wiki Wiki Shave Ice, and BLKdot Coffee, a good time is practically guaranteed. A variety of enticing baskets, filled with gift cards, excursion opportunities, and signed memorabilia will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. All proceeds from the event go to the El Morro PTA to support the school’s students and teachers.

For more information, go to [email protected]

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