Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival on Saturday

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The Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival, a 50-year Darien tradition for kids, returns Saturday, Oct. 14 at the school on Old Farm Road, with rides, food and some spooky fun for children both big and small.

This year, School of Rock and Dance on the DL will perform during the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (with a rain date of Sunday, Oct. 15).


This information was updated after the article was first published:

The carnival is free for anyone to enter. Multiple tickets, priced at a dollar apiece, are needed for various features

—Rides — usually three or four tickets

—Field games — one to two tickets

—The haunted house — three tickets

Rides and Games

The 2017 Pumpkin Carnival features rides and attractions suitable for a wide variety of ages. For those seeking a thrill, make sure to try Ali Baba, the Cliffhanger and Zero Gravity, and then there’s the haunted house.

For preschoolers, there are cars, trains and spin rides.

The Carnival will feature a variety of new lawn games and activities plus familiar favorites like Pumpkin Plinko, Ghoulie Goalie and the Apple Launch.

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.


Carnival participants will also be able to enjoy a wide array of tasty foods and beverages from Darien restaurants, including Burgers Shakes & Fries, Heights Pizza, Meatball & Co., UCBC and the Melt Mobile. A Newman’s Own lemonade stand will serve refreshments.

Where the Money Goes

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.

Help for Families in Need

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

Last year, 10 families that would not have otherwise been able to attend were provided with free ride and game tickets, as well as complimentary food and drinks.

In 2017, we will look to the generosity of the Tokeneke school community to expand last year’s inaugural program and include more eligible Darien families in this initiative.

Traffic Restrictions

Darien police issued this traffic advisory on Thursday:

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. 14 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. Rain date is Sunday, Oct. 15.

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 Colangelo Group (120 Tokeneke Road) or Zoto’s International (100 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.


More information from the Tokeneke Parent Teacher Organization:

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 Darien Rowayton Bank and Newman’s Own.

Other sponsors include NOLA Physical Therapy, Dr. David Osherow, D.D.S; DEANE, Speed Printing & Graphics (SP&G), The Darien News, Heights Pizza, Burger Shakes and Fries, UCBC, Stew Leonard’s, The Studio, and Kempo Academy.

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