orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

October 2, 2012

It’s carnival time

Lions Club Carnival is back for fall fun

ORANGE — Get ready Orange County because the Orange Lions Club Carnival is back for another year of fun and games.

The annual Lions Club Carnival opens to the public at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday and continues through Saturday, Oct. 6. The carnival resumes its two-week, eight-day run from Oct. 10 to Oct. 13 inside the spacious Orange Lions Den Park just off MacArthur Drive.

For more than 70 years, The Lions Club Carnival has remained arguably the most popular fun-filled family oriented event in Orange County. The carnival offers guests great games, tasty food, arts and crafts, and, of course, those thrilling rides for all ages.

Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for students each day of the carnival. “Kiddie Day” is from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6. Admission is free from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on “Kiddie Day” only.

With only hours to go before opening day, it’s business as usual for the many volunteers as final preparations are made.

“We’re down to the little things now, like, decorating the park with signs and banners,” said Robert Sepulvado, carnival chairperson. “We still have some fencing to install, but we’re basically ready to go.”

The carnival will offer the same great activities and carnival rides that area patrons have come to know and love, but the organizers also have an eye to the future. A temporary slide will be installed in place of the Super Slide, but plans are in place to purchase a new Super Slide for 2013. Organizers also hope to obtain a new ride to replace the old Flying Bobs ride which has been unavailable for the past several years.

A big change coming to the carnival that most people will not notice is several of the rides are now being sponsored by area businesses. Each of these businesses, such as Sabine Federal Credit Union, Orange Savings Bank and Automart, will be responsible for working their respective carnival ride with assistance of a Lion Club member.

“We’re moving in a new direction this year by including these businesses,” Sepulvado said. “These businesses will be completely responsible for the man-power at each of those rides or booths. It gives them the opportunity to interact with the community and be involved with the carnival at the same time.”

Stump Weatherford, president of the Orange Lions Club, said the organization has relied on the generosity of volunteers for many years in setting up and dismantling the carnival.

“We get a lot of volunteers from all walks of life and places like DuPont and Invista each year, and that’s a good thing because a lot of man-hours go into setting this carnival up,” Weatherford added.

Every year thousands of area residents attend the eight-day carnival, and, with favorable weather in the forecast for this week, this year’s carnival should be no exception.

“This is the best single event in Orange County,” Sepulvado stated. “People really like this carnival, so we are really hesitant to change anything. We take pride in making it a safe, fun event that the whole family can enjoy, and it shows by how well our inspections go each year.”

Proceeds from the carnival are used by the Lions Club, and supporting Lions Clubs from across the area, to help in their various charitable endeavors.

“A lot of the money goes back into the community through Christmas gift baskets and donations to the Salvation Army,” Weatherford said. “Of course we also contribute to the Lions camp for kids every year, and the eye bank, student scholarships to our local schools and more.”

A ribbon cutting will be held at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, to signal the start of this year’s carnival. The carnival is open from 6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, and 6:30 p.m. - 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday of each week, except “Kiddie Day” when the carnival opens at 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6.

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