Carnivale: 1980s to usher in big hair, big fundraising

Parachute pants, mullets, leg warmers and big hair in general are bound to be visible among an expected crowd of 200 plus attendees at kidscommons’ Carnivale: 1980s from 7 to 11 p.m. today at The Commons at 300 Washington St. in downtown Columbus.

An Eighties cover band, The Big ’80s, will provide the appropriate soundtrack at the fundraiser for the children’s facility serving Bartholomew and surrounding counties. Rubik’s Cubes will hang as backdrops at several locations inside the museum. Alan Trisler will serve as emcee of the evening.

Tickets, priced at $100 per person, will still be available at the door, according to organizers, or also at the website

Many of those planning to attend already have mentioned that they hope to dress in 1980s styles. To enhance the 1980s environment, eight full-size, fully functioning arcade games such as Pac Man, DonkeyKong and Super Mario Brothers will be on hand for attendees to reminisce and play.

First Class catering will provide food such as gourmet sliders, roasted red potato wedge cones, a mac-n-cheese bar, smoked chicken lollipops and more, plus a cash bar.

Honorary event co-chairs Clint and Laura Garrett and Steve and Emilie Pinkston have helped organize the gathering that features an auction of fabulous gifts and getaways. Ben Wagner, kidscommons executive director, said he hopes to raise $75,000 — an adjusted number tweaked partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year’s event was canceled because of the novel coronavirus. The last one held in February 2020 attracted 350 people to The Commons and grossed more than $109,000 for the museum.

Wagner mentioned that attendance recently has been approaching normal figures. He added that the newest exhibit, the outdoor-oriented Camp kidscommons on the third floor, still is a major draw.