Clowntown, An Andover Tradition
Another year of Clowntown has come and gone. Clowntown is a beloved community event in Andover. Clowntown began as a small fair over 60 years ago in 1956 and now spans over 2 days in downtown Andover. Started by ANDONA as a fundraiser to support Andover’s youth, Andona’s name derives from AN: “Andover” and DONA: latin for “give”. ANDONA has created it’s own sense of community amongst it’s members who dress in cute clown attire while managing the event - after many months of planning.
I recently caught up with Melissa Litton, a member of ANDONA (11 years) and also a past president. I asked her to share what she liked most about being part of ANDONA/Clowntown. Melissa shared with me several responses on how personally rewarding her experience has been, in no particular order: First, she gets to see the “entire” town come out for Clowntown.Second because of her son. Like most Andover kids, Melissa’s son has grown up going to Clowntown every year. He’s now old enough to understand the results of his mom’s efforts as a volunteer and see the impact in his community. He’s very proud of his mother and the work she does. The third reason is the kids, the recipients of past high school scholarships and so much more.ANDONA receives countless notes of appreciation and thanks from these young adults.
ANDONA has worked closely with Andover Youth Services through the years. They were one of the first major donors for the Youth Center since it’s inception. This year AYS staff stepped up and helped in the dunk tank - they were total troopers because the weather was not so great.
Clowntown continues to evolve over time. They continue to bring in new rides and games. They began selling tickets ahead of the event and this year they started selling tickets online(by the way tickets never expire!). Even though volunteer membership has shrunk over time, ANDONA has still managed to raise what they did with a larger core group. They are always looking to bring on new members (hint, hint) to build on what they already do. Melissa called it a “fun, local, grassroots group who’s directly raising money for Andover’s youth. There’s a big misconception that there isn’t a need for money and support in Andover.” And this is what drives ANDONA.
A huge thank you to Melissa for taking the time to speak with me but also all the wonderful ANDONA members for giving so much back to Andover. To learn ways you can help or get involved please check out thier website, Facebook page.
Thanks to Brit Perkins Photography for the photos in this blog.