PS 226’s country fair a rollickin’ good time

I scream, you scream: Esna Shahz and Jing Feng enjoyed ice cream at PS 226’s annual Panther Pride Fest on June 6.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Turns out it’s possible to throw a country fair in the concrete jungle.

More than 900 students at PS 226 played traditional farm games, ate popcorn, and competed for prizes at the Bensonhurst school’s annual Panther Pride Fest on June 6, proving that the borough of kings can play host to a rollickin’ country carnival.

The day-long outdoor festival at the school’s playground on 61st Street near 23rd Avenue raised more than $5,000 for school supplies, according to one of the fair’s organizers and PS 226 special education teacher Nariman Mardini.

“It’s a celebration of the end of the year,” Mardini said. “Everyone had a great time.”

The fair featured a simulated cow-milking contest, obstacle course, soccer and basketball games, a magic show, and music from a live DJ. Middle school students manned food booths selling ice cream, cotton candy, and other classic carny staples.

Mardini said the students’ willingness to pitch in and help out made the event possible.

“They learned how to work together,” Mardini said. “It was a real team effort.”

PS 226 launched the festival in the late 1970s. The popular pre-summer get-together was known for years as the Country Fair but was renamed after the school’s mascot in 2010, according to school officials.

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.

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