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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

Lions dub rain pattern 'El Carnivale'


Last updated 3/19/2024 at 5:15pm

Everyone has heard of the El Nino and La Nina weather patterns. The new pattern is "El Carnivale." It's guaranteed to bring on rain.

That's the latest joke from the Orange Lions Club as the community crosses its fingers for good weather during the last four days of this year's charity carnival. But yikes. Rain is in the forecast.

The 83rd annual Lions Charity Carnival in Orange will open this Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Lions Park in Orange.

For years, the carnival was held in the fall, but hurricanes and tropical storms beginning in 2005 ruined the fall locally for a number of years. The Lions Club then moved the carnival to the spring. Heavy spring rains and wet grounds in have brought the Lions to cancel days of the

Last year, Lions sold commemorative umbrellas linking the event to rain.

This past week, the club lucked out for Saturday. Thunderstorms Friday night led to the cancellation that night, however the rainfall expected throughout Saturday mostly moved to the north. The carnival went on Saturday with volunteers and guests wearing boots to protect against the mud.

The carnival will be open on Wednesday and Thursday from 6:30 to 10 p.m., and from 6:30 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Entry is $3 for adults, $2 for ages 13-17, and free to children. This year, only cash will be accepted and a local credit union has donated ATMs placed on the grounds.

The carnival began in the 1930s with only the Orange Lions Club and as the county grew with more Lions clubs forming, the other groups joined in. The Orange Lions own and operate the carnival rides, which are now vintage, including a 1950s carousel. The 1930s Ferris wheel was destroyed by Hurricane Rita. Rides are inspected according to state laws.

All food and game booths are operated by Lions, plus volunteers around the community, including other civic clubs, businesses, and individuals. The foods include hamburgers, fries, pork-a-bobs, corn dogs, funnel cakes, pretzels, cotton candy, popcorn, and snow cones.

All the hours and effort are made to help raise money for a wide range of local charities, including providing eye care and food baskets for those in need.


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