Little League carnival knocks it out of the park

Aug 29, 2023

Despite the 2023 Wareham Little League season coming to an end, players and families gathered on Sunday, Aug. 27 for an afternoon full of carnival games, face painting and food. 

The event was given the name “Carnival at the Fields” and is part of a series of new events hosted by Wareham Little League in an effort to fundraise and bring the community together. 

Wareham Little League President TJ Croken said he just finished his second spring season at the helm of the league. 

Croken, who played for Wareham Little League as a child, said he took over because he wanted to make a positive impact on his community, and help out the league which had seen a decline in youth participation in previous years. 

He said, “We used to be able to field eight minors teams and six majors teams, but now it has been tough to field three teams.” 

The Carnival at the Fields is one of many events that Croken and his board of directors have created to raise money for the league as well as provide families with a fun, affordable entertainment option. Other new events include a golf tournament and a Coed softball tournament which is scheduled to take place in October. 

When board member Emily Amsler first proposed the idea of a carnival at the field complex, Croken said he and other members were not sure how it would turn out. “We kind of laughed a little and thought, ‘How would that work?’” 

Some board members created their own events, such as a batting target practice that gave kids chances to win hidden prizes. There was also a dunk tank that was very popular to the kids in attendance, most of whom seemed very eager to submerge their coaches or parents in a pool of cold water. 

Amsler said she thought it was important to make the events much cheaper than what they would be at a standard festival. 

Both Croken and Amsler said it was important to them to show the community that the fields have been taken better care of in the last year, which is part of their goal to create a new culture surrounding Wareham Little League. 

Regarding the new fundraising philosophy, Amsler said,“We’re just kind of trying to make things a little more exciting, which will help raise more money. We want to get people to the fields.”