By Nancy Reardon
MethuenLife Writer

How do you kick off the 2023 Methuen Pop Warner football and cheer season? Have a Summer Jamboree!
New Methuen Pop Warner President Keith Ivy Jr., came up with the idea of a Summer Jamboree while Cheerleading Director Lauren Leopold (who just happens to be a professional event organizer) brought it to life. The event served as both a festive start to the season and a league fund-raiser. It was held last month at Nicholson Stadium and was open to the public.
The celebratory atmosphere included children’s games, two dunk tanks, a bubble machine, an inflatable ax-throwing game and inflatable soccer game, plus face painting, balloon animals and several vendors. There were, of course, cheerleading and football demonstrations. Town Roofing sponsored a hole-in-one contest. Methuen Police and Fire departments were on hand as part of a Touch-a-Truck event.
“After tallying our door sales along with online purchases, we ended up with 600 attendees,” Leopold said. “We hit our revenue goal and, after expenses, made a good chunk of change for the program that will go right back to the kids and their needs throughout the season!”
This season, 267 kids – ranging in age from 5 to 13 – signed up for Pop Warner. Practices started last month and games begin after Labor Day.
“This is our first year and we wanted to do something big to kick off our season,” said Ivy, who became Methuen Pop Warner president in January and is excited for the games to get underway. He played football at Wellsley High School and is a graduate of Wellesley College.
Leopold added, “We think the event went extremely well, even with the rain in the forecast. The afternoon turned out great and everyone had a great time. The rain did come towards the end of the event, but it did not stop the masses from enjoying the remainder of the afternoon.”
When asked if they plan to hold the event next year, Leopold said, “We will absolutely do this again next year. We want this to be our flagship event to kick off the season and every year going forward.”