Something Spooky and Fun, the Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival This Way Comes on Saturday, Oct 19


Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival

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The Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival brings some Halloween spookiness and fun for kids  this Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Every October for over 50 years, the Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival has transformed the Tokeneke Elementary School, located on Old Farm Road in Darien, into a Halloween-themed haunted house and amusement park where kids of all ages can find delicious food, unique games and activities.

  • UPDATE, Wednesday, 1:46 p.m.: Darien Police issued a traffic advisory on Wednesday, Oct. 16, describing traffic restrictions, advice on driving through the area and parking availability. The new information is published both at the bottom of this article and separately on

— an announcement from the Tokeneke Parent Teacher Organization

Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival

The Pumpkin Carnival will open early at 9:30 a.m. for Darien families with special needs. Please come and enjoy the fun!rides.

Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival

Photo from the Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival on Facebook

One of the carnival rides

The rain date for the event will be on the following day (Oct. 20).

The 2019 Pumpkin Carnival features rides and attractions suitable for a wide variety of ages. For those seeking a thrill, make sure to try The Rock Star, the Scrambler and Zero Gravity.

Preschoolers are sure to love the cars, trains and spin rides. The Haunted House, which is replete with spooky skeletons and ghastly ghosts, is not to be missed!

The Carnival will also feature a variety of seasonally-themed field games and activities like Pumpkin Plinko, the Apple Launch, a Slime Station and the ever-popular Obstacle Course.  Dance on the DL, a local dance studio, will perform during the event.

Carnival participants will also be able to enjoy a wide array of tasty foods and beverages from local Darien restaurants and mobile vendors such as Burgers Shakes & Fries, Heights Pizza, Melt Mobile and Fjord Fish Market.  This year there will be a dedicated drinks station featuring Newman’s Own lemonade.

Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival logo 2019 Tokeneke Elementary School is once again partnering with Darien Human Services to offer area families the opportunity to participate in the annual Pumpkin Carnival Fundraiser, free of charge.

“Last year, over twenty families that would not have otherwise been able to attend the Carnival were provided with free ride and game tickets, as well as complimentary food and drinks. We are so grateful to the Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival for their generous support and look forward to providing this opportunity again in 2019” said Ali Ramsteck, Darien director of human services.

Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival wide 10-12-17

Image from the Tokeneke Carnival page on Facebook

The Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival has been an annual event for half a century.

The Tokeneke Parent Teacher Organization (TPTO) is responsible for organizing the Pumpkin Carnival.  Local businesses are the key supporters of the event, and The Darien Sport Shop will once again be this year’s title sponsor supported by Laurel Road Bank and Newman’s Own.

Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival logo 2019Other sponsors include: Kings Highway Tennis, Nola Physical Therapy + Performance, DEANE, Speed Printing & Graphics, Dr. David Osherow, Dance on the DL, Miceli Insurance Agency, Trisha T. McCullagh, LLC, Heights Pizza, Burger Shakes and Fries, Melt Mobile, Fjord Fish Market and Stew Leonard’s.

Each year, the Pumpkin Carnival is staffed by hundreds of volunteers that include high school students, parents and older siblings of students of Tokeneke Elementary School.

Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival 2018

Photo from the Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival on Facebook

Fiendish creatures at the 2018 Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival.

The funds raised at the Pumpkin Carnival provide funding for the Enrichment Program at the Tokeneke Elementary School. Over the years, the Enrichment Program has helped bring inspirational guests in the arts and sciences into the classroom for personal discussion and instruction with students.

“The Pumpkin Carnival is a much-loved, much-anticipated event that brings our whole community together. We are looking forward to another great event this year and wish to thank all our volunteers and sponsors who help make this event so special” said Vickie Coghlin, a Tokeneke parent and Co-Chair of this year’s event along with fellow Tokeneke parents Andy Huntington and Ali Miceli.

Tokeneke School is one of five elementary schools in Darien. Located on Old Farm Road, Tokeneke serves approximately 500 students from preschool through fifth grade. The principal is Mary C. Michelson.

To learn more about the 2019 Pumpkin Carnival please visit the website; LIKE us on Facebook; and FOLLOW us on Instagram at @tokeneke_pto.

Police Issue Traffic Advisory for Pumpkin Carnival Area

Because of the expected crowds and traffic surrounding Tokeneke School during the annual Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival this Saturday, Darien police have issued a traffic advisory and pointed out where extra parking is available.

Police said you can’t park on Old Farm Road, where the entrances to the school are located, nor on private streets in the Tokeneke Association.

The police announcement also said: “If traveling in the area, please expect minor delays and watch for pedestrians of all ages. Motorists not attending the event should consider alternate routes to their destination.” Here’s an online map (not including route suggestions).

Here’s the police announcement, issued Wednesday morning ( added the boldface): 

The Darien Police Department is issuing this traffic advisory in order to alert motorists of a travel restriction/partial road closure occurring on Saturday, Oct. 19 in the area of Tokeneke School. The school, located on the corner of Tokeneke Road and Old Farm Road, will be holding its annual Pumpkin Fair on the above listed date.

Between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Old Farm Road (at Tokeneke Road) will be closed to all incoming traffic. It will be open for outgoing traffic only.

All Tokeneke area residents (and guests of residents) are advised to enter the Tokeneke area through the alternate entrances of Arrowhead Way, Driftway Lane, or Five Mile River Road.

Ample off-street parking is available for those attending the fair at two commercial parking lots located at 100 and 120 Tokeneke Road. On-street parking will also be permitted on Tokeneke Road as posted.

As in the past, there is no parking allowed on Old Farm Road. Additionally, there is no parking at any time on any private road of the Tokeneke Association. The Tokeneke Park Police will be patrolling the private roads of the Tokeneke Association to deter violations.

The Darien Police Department will have officers assigned to the event to assist both motorists and pedestrians.

This designated traffic and parking pattern makes travel through the area safer for all. If traveling in the area, please expect minor delays and watch for pedestrians of all ages. Motorists not attending the event should consider alternate routes to their destination.

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