Orange Lions Club carnival continues providing thrills into 8th decade

Published 12:18 am Friday, March 29, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Orange Lions Club Charity Carnival lost two days to weather this month but none of the fun or impact.

“Our community still came out in droves, albeit some days clad in rubber boots, to support us,” Lions Club member Chris Kovatch told Orange Newsmedia. “We had great support from a number of our fellow service organizations and businesses in providing volunteers to make our event a success.”

The event, which enjoyed two weekends of fun and ended March 23, celebrated its 83rd edition this year.

Kovatch said it is awesome knowing local Lions are continuing a tradition spanning generations, adding many community events fail to reach eight decades of success.

Lions leaders said the carnival missed one year due to Word War II, missed one year due to Hurricane Harvey and one year due to the COVID pandemic.

There was also one year when two carnivals were held.

“Our community is everything to us,” Kovatch said. “It takes many hands to put this event on, and we are extremely grateful for all of the service organizations and businesses that play a role in making our event a reality. We could not do what we do without our community.”

A highlight in 2024 was an overhauled and updated carousel that was well received by the public.

Volunteers said it was great seeing the children pick out which colorful horse each wanted to ride.

According to Kovatch, it was also amazing to see the pride of the “adoptive families” as they got to see for the first time the horse they provided financial support to repaint.

“We got to see multiple generations pose for pictures with their horses,” he said. “I can’t say it enough; our community is the best.”

Future plans include adding a new top for the carousel and additional painting for 2025.

As of Wednesday, Kovatch said Lions and supporters remained in the process of packing up the carnival. After that wraps, members enjoy time to recuperate before a recap meeting is scheduled.

“We will assess what worked well, what needs to be tweaked and look at what plans must be put into motion for next year,” he said. “As a child, I took the event for granted. It showed up and I got to have a great time. Being a Lion and seeing what goes into making this happen has given me a huge appreciation for all those who made the event possible in years past. This is something I want to take my grandkids and great grandkids, too, but hopefully that is many years down the road.”