Kids’ Carnival hosted by Steamboat Springs High School students |

Kids’ Carnival hosted by Steamboat Springs High School students

Zach Fridell

— Kindergartner Lizette Delgado may have been too clever for the fishing game set up in the corner of the old gym at Steamboat Springs High School. As she held her fishing pole over the low plywood wall, hoping to “catch” a paper fish, she whispered to her friend, “There’s a boy down there giving us the fish.”

The extra help didn’t diminish the excitement of Lizette and more than 700 other local kids during the annual children’s carnival put on by Steamboat Springs High School’s leadership class.

Sophomore Justin Lormand was the fish guy, crouched behind the wall attaching the fish to the lines as the children dangled their paperclip bait above him.

Preparation for the carnival took several months for senior and carnival manager Haley O’Brien. She and a group of other seniors called more than 40 kindergartens, preschools, day care centers and elementary classes to invite them to the event.

“I remember doing this as a kid,” she said. “Most of the stuff we reuse from year to year.”

The bulk of the budget – a total of about $20 – was spent on toys redeemable at the end of the event. No matter if the student won one ticket or 20, they could choose a toy to take home.

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After about an hour with the first group of students, those prizes, including kazoos, whistles and squirt guns, contributed to the slow descent to child-level chaos.

Strawberry Park Elementary School kindergartener Owen Lansford, complete with a dragon painted on his cheek, proudly walked around honking his kazoo and showing off his nine tickets, mostly earned from the fishing booth.

Back at the fishing pond, senior Meghan Hanrahan, faced with the skepticism from Lizette and her Strawberry Park Elementary friends, explained to the children that the paper fish were blind, and the boy behind the wall only was helping them find the bait.

Lizette appeared satisfied with the explanation, and lined up for one more cast.