By Raiza Giorgi

It’s time again to have some old-fashioned fun at the Ballard School’s Old Time Jamboree from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 28.

 At the Santa Ynez Valley’s oldest school, those attending will get to participate in carnival games such as a three-legged race, tug-of-war, musical chairs and more .

 “We want people to come and make great memories with their families in games that have been played by school kids for more than a hundred years,” said Christine Forsyth, the Ballard PTA historian.

The little red schoolhouse in Ballard was the first public school in the Santa Ynez Valley and has been in continuous operation since 1882. Before then, school sessions were held in a granary owned by George W. Lewis, founder of Ballard, and also in an abandoned saloon.

The school was declared a Santa Barbara County Historic Landmark in 1968. (Fun fact: Ballard was named for Lewis’ best friend, William N. Ballard, who cared for Lewis’ ranch.)

The little red schoolhouse serves as a center for community gatherings and today houses the kindergarten class. Older students meet in the more modern building next door.

“This school is such a special place, and we are so excited to bring this fun event for everyone to enjoy. Since the schoolhouse is actually a classroom, we open it special for the jamboree and display historical pieces, photographs and a timeline of the area,” Forsyth said.

Aside from the games, there will be a barbecue lunch, a pie baking contest, silent auction from noon to 2:45 p.m., and a live auction at 3 p.m. The large game of musical chairs takes place at 4:30 p.m. Live music will be provided by the Agin Brothers and Territorial Law Band.

The proceeds from the jamboree will go to support the school and its programs.

For more information or to enter the pie-baking contest, log onto