BOALSBURG — Oliver Homan’s goldfish, Percy, died less than a week ago, and Friday night was his best bet to win a new one.
He didn’t have any luck finding a “fishbowl game,” so he settled for some fried dough and a snowcone instead at the annual Boalsburg carnival, hosted by the fire company.
His mother, Julia Homan-Neff, said that this was one of the only times she lets her children “overdose on sugar.”
“They might be a little crazy tonight, but it’s a fun night for us and they’ve been good,” she said.
The family annually attends the carnival to kick off Memorial Day weekend in the village, which claims to be the birthplace of the holiday.
The carnival started Thursday night and runs through Monday, with a 5 p.m. parade through town Saturday, said Fire Chief Van Winter.
Winter said the carnival has been going on for more than 30 years, and attributes the scheduling around Memorial Day weekend for its success.
“We’re a part of the public and the community, and it’s something we embrace,” Winter said.
Winter estimated that the carnival attracts 600 to 1,000 visitors each night, depending on the weather.
On opening night, Winter said, about 700 wristbands were sold.
Those visitors were able to enjoy rides, play games and eat typical carnival food at any of the dozen or so vendors, Winter said. Those rides, concessions and more are provided through SunShine Shows — a traveling amusement company that provides carnival features.
The carnival is the fire company’s largest fundraiser, Winter said. This year, money raised will help support a $1.6 million expansion to the fire hall at 113 E. Pine St.
When the weather is cool, Winter said, it raises anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000. When the weather is nice, on the other hand, that number doubles.
“It’s all contingent on weather,” Winter said.
According to AccuWeather, Saturday should have scattered showers with highs in the mid-70s. Sunday should be mostly cloudy with highs in the high 70s, and Monday should be mostly sunny and reach 82 degrees.
While the committee has become well-versed in the planning process, there is still something to learn, Winter said.
“Now, we’re teaching some of the younger guys and always working with handling any kind of glitches,” Winter said.