HomeCinnaminson News'It's a beautiful day'

‘It’s a beautiful day’

Township's annual May Day celebrates the community

Albert J. Countryman Jr./The Sun
Cate Meeker (left) and Mary Rosengarten of the Cinnaminson Elementary Home and School Association display two school spirit jerseys on sale at the event to benefit programs for students.

Children screamed as they sped down giant slides, parents checked out vendor booths and Baby Boomers enjoyed a classic car show during the Cinnaminson Township May Day celebration at Wood Park on a sunny May 19.

Firefighters suspended a huge American flag from two ladder trucks near the basketball court and closed off Pomona Road from Riverton Road to the Burlington County Footlighters building, creating a large open space for the hundreds of residents who joined the festivities.

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People parked where they could and walked toward the flag blowing in the breeze, including in the St. Charles Borromeo Church parking lot, where preparations were being made for the township’s upcoming annual carnival from Monday, June 10, to Saturday, June 15.

As families entered the park, one of the first booths they saw featured jerseys, T-shirts and paraphernalia emblazoned with the Pirates’ logo, the name Cinnaminson or a big “C.”

The spirit wear display kept the Cinnaminson Elementary Home and School Association (CEHASA) volunteers busy all afternoon raising money for programs at New Albany, Rush and Memorial schools.

“We sponsor field trips, the yearbooks, teacher appreciation week and ice cream truck visits,” said Cate Meeker, adding that sales of spirit wear items year round constitute one of the group’s major fundraisers.

“We do this to help benefit the faculty as well as the students,” noted fellow volunteer and parent Mary Rosengarten.

The CEHASA is dedicated to enhancing the educational environment in township schools, and members said they were happy for the big turnout on May Day, the nice weather and the number of customers attracted to their booth. Other highlights included a disc jockey stationed near the children’s play area and the Cinnaminson fire department’s Paint the Town Pink car show.

The vehicles parked near the softball field and throughout the park included Mustangs, Corvettes and muscle cars whose newly waxed metal had them shining in the sunlight. The celebration also had people thinking of the next spring event in town, the annual and popular St. Charles Borromeo Carnival that begins Monday, June 10, and attracts thousands of people from not only Cinnaminson but Delran, Palmyra, Riverton and other surrounding towns.

“This is our first year selling advanced ride tickets at Cinnaminson Day, which used to be held in the fall,” explained John Rooney, who, along with his wife, Valerie, and Brian and Emma Sweeney were doing good business at their booth.

“It is a beautiful day and lots of people are here,” observed Rooney, a volunteer who started out selling tickets to the children’s ride in a booth in 1992. The Rooneys have been selling advanced tickets since 2000.

“We have them available at businesses in Cinnaminson, Palmyra and Riverton,” Valerie Rooney said. “It’s our first time here. It’s a good opportunity and great exposure.”

The annual carnival requires an army of volunteers, and new chairpersons are selected each year. Claire and Joe Purcell are running the show for 2024 and their daughter, Emma Sweeney, is also pitching in by selling advanced tickets.

“I was a St. Charles student,” Sweeney recalled. “As a child, I liked the Kiddie Corner, the food tents and the ice cream social. I have been volunteering at the carnival since I was in sixth grade.”

Many of the guests for May Day are expected to return for the carnival, when the parking lot will look like the Wildwood boardwalk, complete with amusement rides and games of chance.

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