Something For Everyone

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, May 5, 2011

Laughter and shrills flooded the air along with the enticingsmells of cotton candy, corndogs and funnel cake. However, it wasthe site of a 100-foot giant wheel peeking over the treetops andlighting up the Lincoln County Sky that let people know thecarnival has arrived.

The Lincoln County Carnival was in full swing during the firstnight of the event Wednesday. With more than a dozen rides andmultiple food options, the festival offers something for kids ofall ages at the Lincoln Civic Center.

“For the first night we had a tremendous turnout and look tocontinue this trend throughout the week,” said Lincoln Civic CenterFacilities Manager Quinn Jordan.

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Helping to bring more visitors to the carnival was a freeconcert sponsored by local area churches. Also, some carnival-goerssaid they wanted to take advantage of the opening night special of$15 wristbands to ride as many amusements as they could throughoutthe night.

“Actually, I think my husband is having more fun than my kid,”said carnival-goer Kacey Falvey. “He’s like a big ole kid runningaround.

Operating the attractions for the second year in a row is NorthAmerican Midway Entertainment (NAME).

“We like Brookhaven,” said Bob Gill, general manager andcontroller of NAME – Amusement South Inc. “The people are nice.Everywhere you go everyone’s real supportive of (thecarnival).”

Workers began setting up the carnival Monday and finished intime for the carnival to go off without a hitch. NAME, the world’slargest traveling outdoor amusement park, brought along with themseven food stands, two lemonade stands, 20 games and 18 rides.

“It’s a mixture from kiddie rides to spectacular rides,” saidGill. “A pretty good mixture of equipment.”

New to this year’s carnival is the Food Alley, which offersseveral local vendors serving up dishes ranging from catfish andsteak to potatoes and chicken.

“We’re bringing it more down to the local level, making surepeople understand this is their county fair,” said Jordan.

Those who missed opening night at the carnival still haveseveral days to participate in the fun.

Tonight, it will only cost one ticket per ride and a statewidepolitical meet and greet is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Singletickets will be available for $1.25 each. From Friday until theevent’s end on Sunday, visitors can pay one price of $20 to ride asmuch as one’s stomach can handle.

The carnival will open at 4:30 tonight, Friday and Saturday. Thefair will shut down at 10 p.m. on the weekdays and 11:30 p.m. onthe weekends. Those looking to make Mother’s Day unique can do soon Sunday from 2 until 8 p.m.

“We’re looking forward to great weather,” said Jordan. “Justload ’em up and come on.”

Jordan said he hopes to grow the event into SouthwestMississippi’s spring state fair, but he said he cannot do italone.

“Without the support of the citizens in Southwest Mississippi,we can’t continue to have these events,” he said.