W.F. Burns student wins poetry contest

Published 10:00 am Saturday, December 17, 2022

VALLEY — Valley Parks & Recreation had a contest for this year’s Christmas Merry Go Round t-shirt. Students in local schools were asked to write a poem about riding the Merry Go Round. The winning entry is appearing on the front pocket of the shirt.

The shirt is Christmassy green with lettering in red that reads:

“Merry Go Round, Merry Go Round, You give us fun all through the town, You bring us together as we go around, And fill the air with joyful sounds.”

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The poem was written by Avion Calhoun, a sixth grade student at W.F. Burns Middle School in Valley.

Avion’s teacher, Julie Meigs, said that everyone at the school is proud of him for winning the contest. “He’s a nice kid and a very good student,” she said. “He really captured the Christmas spirit that’s always at the Merry Go Round.”

The Christmas Merry Go Round is a local tradition that goes back 66 years. It ran for the first time on a Little League ballfield near Fairfax Elementary School. It ran in that same location each Christmas season through 1967. It was on Shawmut Circle during the 1968 Christmas season before moving back to Fairfax, where it ran every Christmas season through 2006. During this period, the Christmas Merry Go Round was annually sponsored by the West Point Manufacturing Company and its successor companies WestPoint Pepperell, WestPoint Stevens and West PointHome.

Starting in 2007, the City of Valley took on that responsibility. Local companies and individuals make monetary contributions to keep this longstanding tradition going. Over $45,000 was raised this year.

In 2007 and 2008, the Christmas Merry Go Round was on one of the ballfields at Valley Sportsplex. Since 2009, it has been on the old Langdale tennis court near the Langdale Mill site.