There's a parrot-perching pirate cave at our family carnival too. It's deep and dark inside, full of shelves and crevices that groan with grimacing, glowing skulls. Only the bravest of little boys dare crawl inside to grope about in dimmest light, seeking hidden hoard. Here's my grandson, Nick, himself a treasure, emerging victorious with an inflated sword and his own little chest of prizes - an ample sack of chocolate doubloons, a fearsome pirate ring, stickers and a spooky, shakin' skeleton that proved mighty useful for scaring away curious little girls!
Aunt Christy, today's tattoo artist-in-residence, reports heavy demand for butterflies and "Hello Kitty" from the ladies. Young gentlemen opt for colorful frogs and triple-eyed, multi-legged monsters.
Tattoos are popular with everybody, so it makes perfect sense to enjoy the inevitable wait in line with a help-yourself snack from the popcorn stand!
A carnival without a duck pond? Why, you might as well not believe in Santa Claus! The idea, of course, is to toss rings about the necks of floating yellow ducks. But a refreshingly cool pool of sparkling water on a steamy hot day attracts a random ring of friendly kids who create and play by their own rules. In the end, ducks, rings, nets and sometimes even little boys all dive in together for a nice swim!
Several new attractions appear each time my carnival comes to town. This year, "Cute Little Chicks" makes its debut in response to the burgeoning number of granddaughters (3!) we've welcomed over the past two years. Colorful nests await matching stuffed chicks, and little girls flutter away as winners in a flourish of bright yellow feather boa. They discover, too, that their choice of plastic Easter egg houses a sweet pink candy bracelet.
Poles, pirates and prizes. Spinners, snakes and sunglasses! Kids work to reel in rewards at the carnival staple, "Go Fishing," but our prize booth only requires a turning in of tickets and a choosing of their favorites.
And there's more! The fun continues right here in part three! Party on over!