Wells carnival tradition alive and well

Few events capture summer fun the way the long-standing traditional country carnivals can and the Wells Carnival continues to uphold its fine tradition through Saturday.

The carnival continues until Aug. 20 providing revelers will have a chance to take in everything from an antique tractor pull, a parade, a midway with rides and live entertainment along with plenty of great summer fun food.

“People come out for the family fun and have a good time, seeing friends and neighbors,” organizer Brad Saunders said. 

The annual carnival is a fundraiser to help out the Wells community while having some good old fashioned family fun. The kids can hop on the rides and still have time to grab some fried dough or a hot dog and enjoy the warm summer air.

“It’s to raise money for different things that go on in the community from scholarships to helping people in the community,” Saunders said.

The annual event has been going for about 73 or 74 years, Saunders said. This carnival has become as much a part of the summer as mosquitoes and sunshine since its start in 1938 or so.

The carnival will go on rain or shine and admission is free. The gates open at 6 p.m. except for Saturday, when the festivities kick off at 2 p.m.

Bingo will be held Friday and Saturday.

The $20 wristband will allow total access to all of the rides all night long and offers parents a bargain which can help out when fun money is limited.

Entertainment is the name of the game each night as the carnival continues tonight.  The carnival will be thumping and bumping tonight as Total Entertainment puts on the all age dance party. Freedom Hawk will anchor Friday night and Sweetwater will cap off the carnival Saturday.

The tradition of the money raffle returns with Thursday night’s prize at $100; Friday night’s $150 and Saturday’s $200. Each drawing takes place at 10 p.m.

The big favorite of carnival patrons and the reason to come to the carnival hungry is the outstanding carnival food. “The food booth, (patrons) they love the food from home made French fries to fried dough and fried clams – all of that good stuff,” Saunders said. 

The cake booth returns for another year and the organizers are hoping to see volunteers in the neighboring town of Pawlet, West Pawlet and Poultney will chip in and donate cakes for the booth, Saunders said.

Leading off the day Saturday will be the annual antique tractor pull beginning at 10 a.m. and leading up to the parade.

The parade will have the theme of the 250th anniversary of Wells and the State of Vermont.

Cash prizes will be given out for the best floats and anyone who chooses to can enter, in categories from floats, cars, fire departments and Best Overall Appearance with a first, second and third place prize awarded in each, organizers said. 

Line up will once again be at the Bates Farms along Route 30 just north of the carnival grounds at noon, with marchers stepping off at 1 p.m.

For more information about the carnival, call: Brad Saunders at 518-506-9511; the tractor pull, Jerry Austin at 802-645-1951 or Todd Fenton for the parade at 802-645-9522.

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