THE NEW CRANE COUNTRY FAIR

Families throughout the community are invited to come to this year’s Crane Country Fair, which will feature new attractions for children of all ages, such as a haunted house, sumo wrestling and an old-fashioned cake walk. The Country Fair will be held on Sunday, October 29, from 10 am to 3 pm at the school’s bucolic 11-acre campus, 1795 San Leandro Lane.

“We really want families from the community to come,” says Robbie Alex, one of the co-chairs of the event. “We invite everyone to come and enjoy our campus.”

Alex and fellow co-chair Cyndi Richman organized the more than 20 booths at the fair. Attractions include the popular Country Kitchen, where baked goods can be purchased, to a giant climbing wall, dunk tank, obstacle course and putt-putt golf. Younger children can enjoy the pumpkin toss, the sponge toss, the lollipop toss, as well several art projects and a pony ride.

While admission is free, tickets need to be purchased to participate in the special events, raffle or booth activities. A raffle will feature prizes such as a custom-created surfboard, apparel, surf camp session, a birthday party package, sunglasses and gift certificates.

“We have come up with a few new things and brought back some things from the past,” says Alex, who notes that in addition to the traditional fair activities for younger children, she has helped plan activities for older children this year. “I asked my eighth-grade boy, ‘What would you like to do at the fair?’ and he requested a haunted house,” she says.

Although the Country Fair has not featured a haunted house in years, Crane parent John Stegall took on the challenge, and has already spent weeks constructing a small, but scary haunted house with the help of several other Crane dads. “Without giving away all of our secrets, I can tell you that we’ll have multiple rooms, with a graveyard, small maze, optical illusions, science lab and morgue,” Stegall explains.

Another new attraction this year is sumo wrestling, where kids put on big blow-up suits. “I’m not quite sure how it works, but it looks like fun,” Alex says. And at the “body expressions” booth, kids can get their hair sprayed orange or their nails painted black.

An old-fashioned cake walk will be another new attraction, and will be modeled after the cake walks Crane parent Pam Raisin remembers from her childhood growing up in small-town Iowa. “The kids get so excited to win a cake,” Raisin says, reminiscing about winning a cake, eating it right on the spot and getting it all over her face as a child. “In the beginning, kids will get to choose from fifty to sixty cakes if they win,” she says.

Crane parents Hilda and Francisco Gama will be cooking their famous carne asada, a favorite choice among Crane students, and chicken, hot dogs and beans will also be available. The bake-off will have a pumpkin theme, and slices of the winning entries will be for sale. Adults will also enjoy a used book, arts and crafts and flower booth, and there will be live music for all. The money raised helps offset the gap between the cost of a Crane education and tuition.

“The Fair brings the whole community together, and fostering a strong sense of community is one of the school’s strengths,” says Joel Weiss, head of Crane school.