Parents, children, teens and couples swarmed the Colchester Lions Club Carnival Thursday through Sunday on the town green.
Sammy Urbowicz and her friend Amanda Smith, both 11, were among those who joined the crowd.
“It’s only here once a year,” Sammy said.
The carnival is a chance not only to enjoy the rides and food, but to connect with friends.
“I like to see all my friends and hang out with them,” Amanda said.
Colchester Lions Club President Bill Grabek was pleased with the turnout.
“The town supports us overwhelmingly at this event,” Grabek said.
He also knew something that might have brought out fans of the event.
“Last year, we only had the wristband on Thursday and Saturday. This year, we are doing it all four days,” Grabek said.
He was referring to the $20 per person wristband that allows unlimited rides each evening, or from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday.
It’s a better deal for the public, Grabek said.
“All the money we get goes out to all the charities we support. We gave out $8,000 in scholarships,” Grabek said.
“At our Night of Giving, we gave out about $28,000 to Lions Club charities and community programs. We give what we get.
Everything we get in, we give back out.”
Parent Jennifer Harrison brought her three children, Bethany 11, Cole, 7, and Amber, 4, to the carnival.
“I like that it is a safe family time. My 4-year-old can find a ride she likes, and my 11-year-old can find a ride right next to it,” Harrison said.
Bethany said her favorite part is the Skat.
“That’s what I want to go on. I love that ride,” Bethany said. Her brother, Cole, prefers the Cliff Hanger.
“It makes me feel like Superman,” Cole said.