The 68th annual Lions Club Charity Carnival offers free admission Nov. 5-8 and 12-15 as a community gift for hurricane-damaged Orange County and surrounding areas. 

Rides and other features were flooded during Ike’s devastation, including damage to the some rides’ electric motors. The carnival will operate at its usual location, Orange Lions City Park.

A Lions member in Giddings who owns an electric shop repaired the motors at no charge. The event is the major fundraiser for area Lions and benefits Southeast Texas through scholarships, eye care, eye glasses and other charities.

“Much of our equipment was on-site in anticipation of the upcoming Carnival during the last week of September and first week of October, but has been thoroughly inspected, repaired if necessary and approved for use,” said Festival Committee Chairman Joel Ardoin. 

“Although our first priority is to evaluate and assist in the rebuilding of the Orange and Bridge City communities, we feel a responsibility to the community to continue [the carnival].”

The popular “Flying Bobs’ ride will be gone this year because of motor damage. The 1960s-era ferris wheel will return after its debut in 2007. An earlier model made in the ‘30s was destroyed by Hurricane Rita in 2005.

Tokens are $1 each. Packets of 10 may be purchased for $10 at the main ticket booth near the Main Avenue gate. Rides featured this year include the Scrambler, Tilt-a-Whirl, Round-Up, Kiddie Cars, Kiddie Ferris Wheel, Miniature Train and Super Slide.

Food booths will highlight burgers, hot dogs, tacos, pizza, pork-a-bobs, corn dogs, funnel cakes and cotton candy. Booth games include Dime Toss, Pop Gun, Ring Toss (goldfish), String Pull, Wheel of Fortune, Golf-Putting, Basketball Toss and Fish Pond / Duck Pond. 

Tokens or cash may be used for booths and games.

Participating clubs include the Orange Lions, Bridge City Lionsesses, Little Cypress Lions, Orange Noon Lions, Pinehurst Lions, Vidor Lions and the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Leo Club.

On-site security and street crossing protection is provided by the Orange Police Department.

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