Modern Woodmen of America carnival and parade in Wells

E ntertainment, rides and food will all abound for five days this week as the Modern Woodmen of America in Wells celebrates its 75th annual carnival from Wednesday, Aug. 14 to Saturday, Aug. 17.

There will be entertainment nightly and rides for the kids provided by Family Fun Amusements, organizers said.

“There’s a lot of new stuff we haven’t done in a long time,” said organizer Andrea Rathbun.

Wednesday night will include “roll back” ride prices to $7.50 wrist bands for unlimited rides, and Thursday, the Woodmen will offer 75-cent ride tickets.

All the usual carnival food will be on hand as well, including hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage and peppers, fried clams, homemade French fries and fried dough. New this year are jalapeño poppers and mozzarella sticks.

“Our goal for this annual event is to be a celebration of the community. Our game prices have stayed the same for many, many years,” organizers said.

There is a cake booth, pie booth, blanket booth, dart booth, plush booth, birthday booth, dunk tank,  ring toss, bingo, the annual money raffle with drawings every night and the famous dime toss. The Wells Volunteer Fire Department has a booth selling its raffle tickets with four large prizes and free balloons for the kids.

Saturday starts off with the antique tractor pulling at 10 a.m. There will be fun for kids throughout the day, such as a sawdust pile, a petting zoo and pony rides from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. And new this year will be cow plop bingo.

This year’s parade will step off at 4 p.m., and the theme for this year’s parade is “Diamond Jubilee.”

Bringing back an old feature and topping off the celebration of the carnival’s 75th year will be a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, which is “not to be missed,” according to Rathbun.

Earlier on Saturday at there will be a chicken barbeque presented by the Ladies Aid of the Wells Methodist Church on the MWA grounds at noon.

This 60-year tradition offers a menu of half a barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, coleslaw, potato and macaroni salads, rolls, coffee, tea and lemonade, with brownies for dessert.

“This event is about having a good time with your family and friends. It’s the belief of what the Woodmen stand for—helping our friends and family, and our community,” organizers said.

The Modern Woodmen of America is a life insurance company located in Rock Island, Illinois, with fraternal chapters across the U.S.A. The Wells chapter is very active, with bingo as the main fundraiser for area charities. The group helps build access ramps for those in need, houses the area food shelf, donates $500 to fifteen-plus area churches annually and recently gave out a total of over $15,000 in scholarships to area students.

Anyone interested in joining in the parade can call Todd Fenton at 802-645-9522 or email [email protected] For more information about the carnival, which is held at the MWA grounds, call 802-645-0422.




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