Lions Carnival set for Sept. 11-12

Lions Carnival set for Sept. 11-12

Carlinville Lions Club will host its 71st annual carnival Friday and Saturday, Sept. 11-12, on the Carlinville Square.

The carnival will kick off Friday evening with the annual parade, which will start at the Macoupin County Courthouse and travel west to the square.

The Lions Queen coronation will be held at 9 p.m. Saturday. This year’s candidates are Abby Boente, Sami Butcher, Kaity Dunn, Colleen Madden, Maggie Nicholson and Sloan Nickel.

According to Steve Boente, one of the highlights this year is a new barrel ride, which will allow passengers to sit inside the barrels instead of riding on top, as is done with the wagon ride, which will still be offered. “A parent could possibly ride with their child inside of the barrel,” Boente said. Other rides include a fire truck, purple train, peanut wheel, kiddie cars and two bucking broncos. “We continue to improve our rides and games each year,” he said, noting that the club held a work day in mid-August to clean, repair and improve the rides.

Other big draws are  is the food stand, which will offer fried fish, hot dogs, french fries, soda and water; games for kids of all ages; and a cake stand and bingo games for adults. “We also have a photo booth that kids and adults really like,” Boente said. “They get to dress up and have their photos taken.”

Last year’s carnival raised $27,655 for the club, after all expenses were paid. “A large part of the funds comes from the queen ticket sales,” said Boente. Attendees can purchase tickets from the queen candidates for a chance to win one of three cash prizes — $300, $200 or $100. “The girls work very hard,” Boente said. “All the funds that we raise from this go back to the community in some fashion. We support charities and we support all kinds of endeavors throughout the year. The money that we raise from the carnival is put into our budget for the following year.” There is also a 50/50 drawing.

“I think of this as our unofficial Carlinville homecoming,” Boente said. “People come back from other states  to see friends and family at the carnival. It’s always a big draw. I just encourage people to come out. It’s a great community event, and you’re helping to support others in need in this community.”

In the event of inclement weather either Friday or Saturday, the carnival will continue Sunday afternoon. Parking will be closed on East Main Street beginning on Thursday to allow the club to set up for the carnival.