(BLOOMINGTON) - The Fun Frolic carnival's 54-year run in Bloomington has ended.
Laura Lane, of the Hearld-Times, reports that Indiana University's Bloomington Early Childhood Education Services and Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Indiana have ended their sponsorship of the annual Bloomington carnival, a fundraiser for both organizations.
Tim Dunnuck, director of IU's early childhood services, said that financially, it does not make sense to continue the weeklong event, held every year during the second full week of June in the Indiana University athletics parking lot north of Memorial Stadium and Assembly Hall.
When Dunnuck's office and Big Brothers Big Sisters took the event over from the campus staff council in 1994, profits were about $25,000. The carnival's profit in 2011 was less than 20 percent of that, about $4,500.
Dunnuck blamed the bad economy and rising fuel prices for declining attendance and also for the shrinking size of the carnival the past few years. "There weren't as many people going and Cumberland Valley Shows uses diesel fuel for the rides and also for travel," he said. "It went from a very big show to one that had maybe 10 rides."
Dunnuck also cited concerns about safety, liability and environmental risk.
After last year's small financial return, Dunnuck spoke with IU administrators, who agreed it was time to end the carnival. "I'm kind of sad about it since it has been such a long Bloomington tradition," he said. "But it no longer made sense for us to continue as sponsors."
He said the money raised was never part of his child care services budget, but was used instead for wish-list extras such as new playground equipment.
Started in 1957, the Fun Frolic was sponsored its first 37 years by IU's Bloomington Staff Council to raise money for scholarships.
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