Back at the Carnival…

Danbury Fair Carnival 1

One of the most magical times to go to a carnival is just after the sun has set – with the onset of dusk, the day begins to cool down, and the night ahead seems as though it will last forever.

I’ve written about carnivals before (check out “The Call of the Carnival” at http://kristipetersenschoonover.com/2010/07/03/the-call-of-the-carnival/ ). It’s been awhile, so I figured with the start of summer (finally! Although it is still a bit on the cold side for me) I’d share a trip to this year’s Danbury Fair Carnival.

Danbury Fair Carnival 2

Nathan, who used to be a carnie (running games), simply couldn’t resist this one…

Danbury Fair Carnival 3

Danbury Fair Carnival 4

…probably because it’s the only one he’s never beaten.

Danbury Fair Carnival 5

We didn’t get these this time around. They’re amazing – but they’re rich. I don’t know anyone who can eat more than one—two max.

Danbury Fair Carnival 6

I love this sign…the eyes on this woman are priceless! But mostly, it’s because my Dad used to say “I can sleep when I’m dead” and I haven’t heard or seen the phrase since…well, since he died, basically.

This one man band was amazing!

Danbury Fair Carnival 9

I’m a Gremlins fan (and did you know the movie’s 30-year anniversary was on June 8)? Not like I don’t have too many stuffed animals, but…

Danbury Fair Carnival 8

…of course we had to try to win it….

Danbury Fair Carnival 7

It was a really hard game. Even Nathan couldn’t do it and he’s the master at just about any game.

One of the fun things about carnivals is that very often they try to—in a cheesy way, of course—cash in on a current trend. I find it hysterical that this ride’s appearance at the carnival conveniently coincides with the release of the most recent Godzilla flick, but the truth is it’s probably riffing on Universal’s Jurassic Park and Disney’s Dinosaur rides, which have been around for several years.

One of the fun things about carnivals is that very often they try to—in a cheesy way, of course—cash in on a current trend. I find it hysterical that this ride’s appearance at the carnival conveniently coincides with the release of the most recent Godzilla flick, but the truth is it’s probably riffing on Universal’s Jurassic Park and Disney’s Dinosaur rides, which have been around for several years.

Danbury Fair Carnival 11

In this artwork it’s pretty clear they ARE doing an obvious riff on Disney’s Dinosaur…as Nathan pointed out, “this looks like Disney’s Dinosaur ride without the scary.” For proof, check out the next picture…

11A Dinosaur on ride Photo 2012

This is the photo they snap of you on the way out of Disney’s Dinosaur. The paper frame they give you usually has a scary carnotaur face roaring overhead.

Danbury Fair Carnival 12

Nathan’s lemonade (which this time around he said was really watered down…)

Danbury Fair Carnival 13

Charles gets a hot dog.

Danbury Fair Mall 14

Ride tickets. Because, dammit, I was going on that stupid Quadzilla thing. I just had to check it out.

Enjoy this ride through of Quadzilla. It is absolutely terrifying, so I don’t recommend it for young viewers.

Danbury Fair Carnival 15

There’s a Bozo the Clown who sits in a dunking booth and shouts insults every year. He’s pretty mean, usually, and the one from when Straits Shows ran the place sat there and chain-smoked while he called passers-by horrifying names and poked fun at their clothes and bald spots. This guy wasn’t as good, but I took a picture of the sign anyway.

Danbury Fair Carnival 16

Selfie on the Ferris wheel! This Ferris wheel was pretty good, actually – it was a gondola style and it actually turned pretty quickly.

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A view of the highway from the Ferris wheel.

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A view of a pond near the Danbury Fair Mall. Actually, the mall is built on a swamp, and in times of heavy rains, the access road around the mall floods. People say it’s sinking (I don’t know if this is true, but I could believe it).

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A view of the carnival from the Ferris wheel.

A ride on the Ferris Wheel.

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Nathan thought this read “Flying Boobs.” It does look like that’s what it says if you give it a fast glance (and the artwork behind the writing doesn’t help, either).

Danbury Fair Carnival 21

Haunted Houses are a fave – most of them at the carnivals we’ve been to have broken effects and the rides are super-short. This one cost four tickets, and at approximately a buck a ticket with a required purchase threshold, we decided to pass—especially after Nathan timed a car going through and it clocked in at 46 seconds. Charles says we might as well just throw four bucks on the ground and walk away.

A trip through the fun house is always a good time!

Danbury Fair Carnival 22

Fried dough – with my fave – sauce and cheese!

Danbury Fair Carnival 23

I’ve never seen a food truck at a carnival with such an elaborate display.

Danbury Fair Carnival 24

Nathan gets his funnel cake with powdered sugar! A common breakfast for him when he was a carnie.

Danbury Fair Carnival 25

This sounds nuts, but we’d never seen a kangaroo up close before!

The kangaroo in a bit of action, followed by a discussion of some plans to open our own roadside attraction…

 

About Kristi Petersen Schoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in countless magazines and anthologies. She has received three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies, is editor for Read Short Fiction, and hosts the Scary Scribes podcast for Paranormal, Eh? Radio Network in Canada. Her work Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole is a collection of ghost stories set in Disney Parks; her horror novel, Bad Apple, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She’s also a member of the New England Horror Writers Association. More info: www.kristipetersenschoonover.com

Posted on June 13, 2014, in Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Awesome to see a fun night at the carnival…I mean who doesn’t love a good fair. The Bob’s lemonade is my fav.. With extra sugar…lol. peace and love….

  2. Wow, cool. Sure looks like Connecticut, USA to me, complete with American carnival food. We had one, too, growing up, our 4th of July carnival right in my town. I never could figure out how they set it all up and took it down and never left a trace. Where had it gone? Suddenly, only an empty field and a memory till next year. And my parents, saying next year they won’t let us go, but by then, they’d have forgotten again, and we’d skip merrily out and be on our way. Graduated 1975. Came back years later, all changed, millionaires moved in and ruined all the fun. That’s life. Julie and Puzzle, far away now in our upside-down world.

    • My husband was a carnie and he tells me they really haul it overnight to pack it up! It’s nice to see, as you pointed out, that the good old days still do exist in some form. The carnival, like small roadside attractions, can be nice, brief escapes from life that don’t cost too much in travel or cash. I look forward to this every year; it’s a few hours out of reality.

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