Carnivals: Always More Fun With Kids

This looks like happiness to me. I think that face is worth the seven bucks for the kid bungee ride at the Bemidji Jaycees Water Carnival.

That’s my 10-year-old granddaughter, who just missed Monday’s storm when she went home with her mom (my daughter had a windshield wiper ripped off by the wind on the trip home). Jada had an armband for the rides Sunday, and on Monday we did the bungee rides and a few carnival games.

Whee! I bet that is a blast.

This is always one of her favorite rides:

And who doesn’t like bumper cars?

I haven’t done this since I was a kid myself. If carnivals had more rides like bumper cars and Ferris wheels (why don’t I see many Ferris wheels anymore at small carnivals?), I might buy an armband myself.

I’m not much for rides, though. My best friend in high school used to drag me on the Tilt-A-Whirl over and over, which just made me dizzy, and I hate scary rides. The Scrambler is about as scary as I go, and that’s pretty tame even by Jada’s standards.

One ride that makes the armband easily pay for itself is the giant slide, which kids go down over and over again. They must get a lot of exercise climbing all those steps!

I couldn’t get a very good picture of her in that lane, and she said it was the fastest one. No clue if that was accurate or not; I never saw her in any other lane!

The two little girls below were really cute in their patriotic red, white and blue outfits. I wondered if they had been in the Grand Parade earlier Sunday.

We arrived with minutes to spare for the start of the parade, and we ended up walking way past the Courthouse because Jada wanted to get candy quickly and then move on to the rides. :)

Sunday was miserably hot. One of us carried a big drink of water and the other carried a 2-liter bottle of water that we used to cool off with. At one point, Jada just dumped some over her head. There was a short break in the heat as the sun went behind a little cloud. You can see just how short of a break that was, as that was the only cloud of any size in sight.

That about sums up “I’m hot!”

Despite Monday’s storm, the carnival got back on track for Tuesday and Wednesday, ending with the traditional Fourth of July fireworks display.

I don’t know what happened — maybe they accidentally got the fireworks out of order — but the finale ended up not at the end. After the familiar burst of fireworks, another four or so bursts came along and then the display just ended. It was a little confusing, as I was wondering if the finale was a mini-finale and there was going to be a REALLY big one at the end. :)


This burst was one of the “bonus” ones that came at the end.

As usual, the night drew lots of people of all ages, and kids were swinging the light-up swords their parents bought them at the waterfront.

Jack Hittinger, the Pioneers’ new sports reporter, stopped over to watch the fireworks. We were laughing over the little girl behind us who kept saying “That one almost came over here!”

I love fireworks. This is my second display of the year. The first was at the Erskine Water Carnival, which has a super-awesome fireworks display for a town of fewer than 500 people.

I suppose that for many people, the Fourth was not so much a holiday but a day off from paid work to do cleanup work. But I hope those of you who were busy all day still found a little time to see a firework or two.

— Laurie