The Koreatown Youth Community Center held its annual Holiday Carnival on Saturday, December 7th. Many families of the community attended the event, which was held at Wilton Place Elementary School. The carnival was filled with gifts, activities, and entertainment. Free toys were passed out to younger kids, plus booths with games, food, and face painting were open to everyone. More than 2,000 people attended the event, even with the sprinkling rain. The carnival was run by volunteers, which included the KYCC staff and high school students. Around 200 volunteers ran the different booths at the carnival. Acting as Santa’s helpers, some wrapped and gave out gifts to a line of hundreds of children. The free gifts included an assortment of toys, and were given to children younger than ten years old. Throughout the carnival, there was also a raffle on stage so more kids could win prizes, some as big as bikes. The stage also held live performances of Christmas music, so everyone was filled with the holiday spirit while singing along to their favorite tunes.
Other booths included arts and crafts, and game booths. At the arts and crafts tables, key chains and necklaces were made. Carnival games, such as ball tosses, plus bouncy houses were set up as well. Families were able to play fun activities and bond with each other. The face painting booth was also popular with kids. Volunteers painted holiday related designs on kids’ hands or faces. The carnival was filled with smiling faces of Rudolph, snowmen, Christmas trees, and more. Stella, a high school volunteer working in the face painting booth said that “I was happy to volunteer for so many reasons. I love children and I enjoy helping out with them. The carnival was an amazing experience and I met so many fun and creative kids when I painted their faces. I would definitely recommend coming, and I will be volunteering again next year.”
The holiday carnival allowed all kids in the Los Angeles area to experience holiday cheer, especially for those who cannot afford to buy presents at home. The welcoming atmosphere was built by the friendly volunteers who set up and cleaned up after their shifts. Kids were able to take pictures with Santa and at the photo booth to remember the enjoyable time they spent at the carnival. The light rain and gloomy weather did not stop anyone from staying and having fun, as tents were put up and with those who brought umbrellas in case. The entire carnival was heartwarming and full of entertainment, and it helped to showcase the pure joy kids have when they are playing and receiving presents. KYCC’s Holiday Carnival was an inclusive and exciting event leading up to the winter holidays.
Hannah Sung, Grade 10
Crescenta Valley High School