What if you had a carnival and nobody came?
That is almost what has been happening at the annual Brooklyn Park Carnival, sponsored by the Arundel Improvement Association. Attendance at the carnival, which runs through Saturday, has been light.
Part of that could be due to this week's unseasonably chilly weather. But association president Frances Jones believes there may be another, more sinister reason.
"Someone has been ripping down the signs we put out advertising the carnival," she said yesterday.
Jones said she has not reported the apparent thefts to police.
"It would probably be a losing battle," she said. "They would probably say that they didn't have time to track that down.
"It's a hard life for these carnival workers," she added. "They work all night to set it up, and then they are faced with this."
She said association workers put the signs on telephone and light poles along Ritchie Highway, Church Street and the side streets.
"We don't know if it is a competitor or just kids," Jones said. "It's very cruel. The only people they are hurting is the community."
About 300 people attended the carnival Monday night, but fewer came Tuesday night, she said.
Last year, "several thousand" people attended the carnival at the Channel parking lot off Ritchie Highway.
This year's carnival was moved to the 700 block of Cross St., on the grounds of the improvement association building.
While she said the change of location may have contributed to lower attendance, Jones said she thought theft of the signs was largely to blame.
This is the second year the association has sponsored the carnival, which is run by M & M Amusements in Baltimore. The association receives a percentage of the profits, which pays for its daily operations, with anything left over going toward an Easter egg hunt, Halloween party, Christmas festivities and a summer picnic, Jones said.
Last year, after expenses, the carnival made about $3,500 for the association, Jones said.
"We don't make a lot of money," she said. "It's just enough to keep our heads above water.
"We just want people to know that the carnival is here and to come down and enjoy it," Jones said.
The carnival features nine rides, games and a craft show, and is open nightly from 6 to 11.