Driving down Green Avenue, anyone can’t help but notice the Lion’s Club Carnival is gearing up again for two fun-filled weekends.
The carnival will have a grand opening and ribbon cutting on their opening day on Oct. 2. The ribbon cutting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The Lions Club will honor Joe Will by proclaiming it “Joe Will Day.”  Will is a former city of Orange employee who retired after many years of service. He was a kind-hearted, hard worker who helped prepare the park for the annual carnival.
People attending the carnival on that day can gain entry by bringing a canned food item for each person entering. The collected can items will be donated to local charities.
Admission is $2 for adults 18 years and up and $1 for children ages 13 to 17 and children under 13 are free. Rides are $1 each.
“Our goal is to make it affordable for all,” said Chris Kovatch, carnival chairman.
This is the 74th year for the annual Lions Carnival. The first carnival grossed about $108 which was touted as a success. Since then it has remained a big success and grown in numbers of  people who annually flock to the carnival, according to Kovatch.
The most popular game is the dime toss. The gold fish table is another favorite. But, the gold fish game has been improved with a larger table and moved to accommodate the larger crowd.
Over the years, there have been some changes in the rides. This year it took three weeks to put the rides together, but well worth the wait. With much anticipation for thrill seekers, there will be an added ride which will replace the Flying Bob that was destroyed in Hurricane Ike. This year, the Thunderbolt will make it’s debut. It will be the centerpiece of the carnival with the lights and sound systems. It is guaranteed to be an exhilarating, heart-pumping, fast ride.
Also new this year is a rock climbing wall where children will be able to reach new heights and feel a sense of accomplishment in addition to a good time.
The rides for older children have a height requirement of 42 inches tall to ensure everyone’s safety at all times.
However, the younger children are not left out. The inflatable super slide has been rebuilt. Over the years, it had become worn and had some tears. When it could no longer be repaired, Lions Club members went on the search for another one. But, found the same company who had made the previous slide, could make another one. The newer slide will also make it’s debut at the carnival.
This is the only fundraiser for the Lions Club has for the year. They are known for their good work in the community. With the money collected, they are able to help with the requests for eyeglasses. Last year, they helped with $18,000 in eyeglasses.
The Lions Club also gives food baskets during Christmas. They obtain a list through the Salvation Army and deliver the goods to needy families. In addition, the money collected supports the Lions Camp in Kerrville while handicapped children attend. Finally, they put the money collected to good use when they offer scholarships to local high school seniors.

Members of the Lions Club are on the latest addition to the carnival — The Thunderbolt.