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Exchange club preps for Spring Fling

It began in the early 1950s. For generations, the Exchange Club Fair has been a Brookhaven tradition. But in recent years, the Exchange Club has begun a new tradition — the Spring Fling.

“I still have people who tell me, ‘I want (my grandchildren) to ride the same thing we rode,’” Exchange Club Treasurer Bill Haag said. “Some of those rides are still there.”

The Spring Fling will open at the park at 6:30 p.m. on March 5-7. For the price of a $10 armband, children will be able to ride any ride in the park that they want — as many times as they want — until the park closes at 10 p.m.

The annual event began as a way for the Exchange Club to raise additional funds. Every year, the Club gives other non-profit organizations the opportunity to use their facilities for raising funds, free of charge. Concessions and games will be operated by a mix of both the Exchange Club and other local non-profit charities.

Over the years, Haag said the cost of maintaining the park and its rides has risen significantly. Rather that increase the cost of armbands — which has remained unchanged for many years — the Exchange Club decided to host a second event instead.

The only thing that could put a damper on the Spring Fling is the weather, but Haag said there is a backup plan in that case.

“We pray for good weather,” Haag said. “If it’s really bad weather, we always have the option of opening the second week. If it’s misty, we’ll open. But if it starts lightning, we’ll shut it down.”