We're exhausted, but Carnival of Souls 2009 was a success.
In all, we had nearly 40 volunteers helping at our house this year at one time or another. All together, we were able to put on one of the best seasons of Carnival of Souls ever. New elements this year included:
The Cursed Treasure - A new carnival game which lets kids roll balls down an inclined playfield where stacks of coins and other pirate treasure lay scattered. Depending on where the ball rolls, the kids would get different amounts of candy. It was a huge hit, and a great improvement over "toss a rat in a bucket".
The Spider Cave - Though a little too imposing for some kids, the spider cave allowed the brave souls who attended to go inside and have the spider answer a question, any question. It turns out our spider puppeteer did such a great job that the spider cave became quite popular.
The Pirate Graveyard - This walkthrough attraction included a ghostly possession of Madame Sarita, a large ruined bastille inhabited by undead pirates, and a journey over the sea on a sunken pirate ship helmed by an undead captain, where kids could shoot cannons at the damned crew of Anne Bonny and Mary Read. We had some technical difficulties with the final scene a few times, unfortunately, but we got them ironed out quickly.
Pirate Barter - Instead of just getting candy this year, the attractions doled out pirate treasure: coins, jems, strings of pearls, etc. Walking around the show were some greedy pirates who would barter with kids for this treasure in exchange for candy and toys. Kids loved being able to buy their treats with the booty they earned.
Of course, some of the old mainstays were still in effect, such as the Magic Mirror, which is always a hit with the kids. And Dr. Richman returned with his "Creepy Crawly Emporium".
All in all, it was a fantastic year for the tots. Thanks to all our volunteers and visitors! We're already looking forward to 2010.