The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

By Dave Rogers
For the Record 

Lions get set for 81st Charity Carnival


Last updated 3/22/2022 at 6:23pm

Dave Rogers

Craig Darby with the Little Cypress Lions brings tent stakes to set up the club's tent for game booths at the Lions Club Carnival set for Wednesdays through Saturdays March 30-April 2 and April 6-9 at Orange's Lions Park.

Members of the Orange Lions Club young and old, with help from neighboring Lions and Orange County Jail trusties, created a beehive of activity at Lions Den Park the last couple of weekends.

They're all getting ready to open the 81st Annual Lions Club Charity Carnival for two four-day weeks beginning March 30.

"We're glad to be able to open back up after the pandemic. I know the citizens of Orange missed it," Grover Roberts III, carnival co-chairman, said.

It will run from Wednesday, March 30 through Saturday, April 2, then from Wednesday, April 6 through Saturday, April 9.

Gates are open from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays. Families and Friends Day is Saturday, April 2, with gates open from 4 p.m. to 11:0 p.m. Gates are open from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, April 9.

The Lions actually held a carnival last June and July but it was hardly normal. After COVID-19 totally wiped out the 2020 carnival and hurricanes wreaked havoc with the previous several carnivals held per tradition in the fall, last summer's carnival was three weeks long with a lot of social distancing.

And attendance was not up to previous years.

"It's just way too hot [in the summer]," said Pam Honeycutt, longtime carnival co-chairman.

"We have some die-hards who'll always come out, eat a hamburger, play Bingo and ride the rides. But I felt like after last year's carnival was over, 'We're not going to go back to the summertime.

"I don't think there's anybody in the club that didn't enjoy a fall carnival, but for the last several years it seems we always have a hurricane attached to the fall."

As is always the case, heavy tractors were used this year to pull and push the heavy club-owned carnival rides and trailers into position. Tents were being raised Saturday to provide cover for the midway game booths.

Dave Rogers

Grover Roberts III rakes sand as Chris Horn dumps it from the tractor's bucket Saturday as the Men prepare for the March 30-April 2 and April 6-9 return of the Lions Club Carnival to Lions Park in Orange.

"It takes weeks of planning," Roberts said. "We're very appreciative of the inmates that help and their guards who bring them out. We're very appreciative of the Lions who are able to help us set up.

"It really is a team event. It takes a lot of participation and dedication."

Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for students aged 10-17 and youngsters under 10 are admitted free.

Proceeds of the carnival will be used by the Lions Club to fund club causes like the Eyeglass Bank, scholarships for youngsters to Lions Club Camp, food baskets and their beautification tree project and the Texas Ramp Project for the wheelchair-bound.

Besides carnival rides, the event features game booths and food booths. Food choices run from hamburgers, funnel cakes, chocolate covered strawberries, popcorn, cotton candy to turkey legs, pork-a-bobs, corn dogs, nachos and popcorn balls.

When the weatherman cooperates, more than 10,000 people visit the fair annually.


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