For three days next weekend, the Newton division of the LAPD is hosting a carnival complete with rides, games and food to raise money for their youth programs.
The event, which began three years ago, is one of the "biggest money-makers" of the year, said Brenda Morales, a youth service officer for the cadet program. She said that after costs and fees, Newton will probably raise about $15,000
The carnival begins Friday June 22 when almost a mile of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is closed down for the event, between Avalon Boulevard and Main Street. Admission is free but there will be additional charges for the rides, carnival games and food including hot dogs and popcorn.
Besides being a community event, the main purpose of the carnival is to raise money for the Newton Police Activities League (PAL) as well as their cadet program, said Morales. The PAL program targets 8 to 17-year-olds and aims to keep them busy and productive through tutoring sessions, boxing lessons, fitness classes, group outings, soccer games and more. The program is a non-profit, she said, so the officers are paid for their time spent on the program but PALS activities are not paid for through the city.
The Newton Cadet program has more than 100 participants and is one of the largest in the region, officials said. Many of those enrolled are encouraged to do so by parents or friends, and although not all go on to pursue a career in law enforcement, many appreciate the "quasi-military" atmosphere of the program, said Morales.
The cadets will help organize and work at the Newton carnival, which will begin setting up next Wednesday. Presale tickets for the event are sold in sheets, said Morales, and cost $20 for ten tickets. Starting the day of the event the cost will increase dramatically. Festival hours are Friday, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.