Author photo

By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

Lions Carnival, jet ski races offer spring break activities


Last updated 3/13/2024 at 12:57pm

Will it or won't it rain? That is the question these days any time the Lions Club Carnival is ready to open.

The 83rd annual event with rides, food, games, and lots of local volunteers is set to open on Wednesday, March 14, and run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Then it will begin again on Wednesday, March 21, and that week's Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Right now the National Weather Service in Lake Charles is forecasting some rain later in the week, however the bulk of it may be hitting north of here. Fingers are crossed, prayers are being made, and good-luck charms rubbed.

And the carnival isn't the only big activity going on this weekend. The Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau is sponsoring the Second Annual Spring Break Shootout jet ski races at the Boat Ramp off Simmons Drive on Friday and Saturday.

The carnival, held at Lions City Park off Main Avenue in Orange along Cow Bayou, raises money for a number of local charities sponsored by the Lions Clubs in Orange County. Rides and games are owned and operated by club members and other local volunteers.

For many years, the carnival was held in September, but Hurricane Rita in 2005 destroyed the Ferris wheel and Hurricane Ike in 2008 had a flood that swept away another ride into Adams Bayou. Lions decided to move the carnival dates away from hurricane season. However, spring rains have also put a damper on the activities.

This year, the vintage metal carousel has been repainted with sponsors "adopting" the new paint job for the animals. Besides the carousel, there's the Ferris wheel, Tilt-a-Whirl, kiddie cars, kiddie train, and other rides.

The goldfish toss may be one of the most popular games, but then the dime toss could draw more people. Seeing families carry around goldfish and dishes they won at the games is a common site. Lots of adults gather at the bingo game to rest and play.

Food is also a mainstay. The David family is no longer alive to cook the hamburgers, but Lions have kept the tradition alive and the burger spot often has long lines. Other goodies will include corn dogs, pork-a-bobs, pretzels, funnel cakes, cotton candy, snow cones, and popcorn.

The carnival will be open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 10 p.m., and from 6:30 to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Entry is $3 for adults, $2 for ages 13-17, and free to children. This Saturday, March 16, will be Family Day with no entry fee from 4 to 6 p.m.

This year, the carnival is accepting only cash. ATMs provided by a local credit union, will be set up at the hamburger booth and the bingo pavilion.

The jet ski races at the Boat Ramp will feature Nauti Water Racing with competitive riders racing and doing tricks in the Sabine River. Gates will open at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday and admission is free. Food vendors are available and a DJ will provide music. No dogs or pets are allowed.

The Boat Ramp closed on Tuesday to regular boat launching and will remain closed until the end of the jet ski races. Boaters may launch their vessels at Blue Bird Park north on Simmons.


Reader Comments(0)


Our Family of Publications Includes:

County Record
Penny Record

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2024

Rendered 04/13/2024 01:39