Funtastic Carnival draws crowds for sunny day June 20

MARYSVILLE — The penultimate day of the Marysville Strawberry Festival saw a cavalcade of activity at Marysville Middle School June 20, as newcomers and longtime attendees alike turned out for the Funtastic Carnival.

Shanna Swalwell has attended the Strawberry Festival for years, but this marked the first year that she and her family could afford to go to the carnival. While the day's entertainments weren't necessarily to her tastes, she appreciated that they had plenty to offer her fiance and their three children.

"The kids love all the big kids' rides," Swalwell said. "My fiance loves the food. The Strawberry Festival is lots of fun."

Michael Hill has been attending the carnival for the past dozen years, but lately, it's more for his grandchildren than himself. He took two of his grandkids to the carnival June 19, where they encountered a bit of rain, but when he took his remaining three grandkids to the carnival June 20, they found the weather much more pleasant.

"I'm too old to get upside down anymore," Hill laughed. "I used to like the rides that would empty the change out of your pocket."

Hill noted that ice dream, cotton candy and soda pop were among his family's favorite carnival foods, and when he asked his grandchildren which rides they liked best, they told him the "Hammer" and the "Zipper."

"The rides are a little different than they used to be," said Hill, who spoke appreciatively of the courteous people and accessible parking at the carnival. "They change them from time to time, but it's still about the same. You've still got games, and rides that go upside down, just with different names."

Bailey Helm, 11, and Michael Abraham, 9, were first-time carnival-goers this year. They agreed that they enjoyed all the rides, especially the "Zero Gravity," and they're already looking forward to returning next year. By contrast, Daniel Moseley has been coming to the carnival for the past three years, and this year, he brought his mother, father, wife and two children.

"My kids' favorite ride is the slide, but mine is the 'Zipper,'" Moseley said. "It's a lot of fun. My favorite foods are the elephant ears and the soft tacos. Everybody loves the elephant ears."

Lauri Martin spent four hours bathing her dog, just so she could attend the carnival and Grand Parade June 20, but she considers the time spent well worth it.

"It's a wonderful experience here," Martin said. "Everybody is so nice. I love the elephant ears and the rides. I want to go on the 'Octopus.' If you didn't come out, you missed out. It's been a perfect, beautiful day."

"I love the carnival," Strawberry Festival Royalty Princess Becca Thomas said. "I come here every year. My favorite ride is the 'Zipper.' It's fun to hang out with your friends, and there are lots of rides and lots of games."

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