Orange Lions Club members Rusty Honeycutt, President and Chris Gunstream, Carnival Chairperson inspect rides before the carnival’s opening on Wednesday at Lion’s City Park.

Dave Rogers

For The Record

Load up grandma and the kids. It’s time for some Orange Texa-cana tradition and fun for the whole family.

The Orange Lions Club Carnival will open up its two-week run Wednesday at Lions City Park, 16th Street and MacArthur Drive, Orange.

If you’re scoring at home – or on your mobile device of choice – this will be the 77th year for Orange County’s five Lions Clubs to put on this charity-funding event.

“As anybody who’s grown up in Orange, Texas would know, it is a happening event for the city and for the county of Orange,” said Chris Gunstream, carnival chairman.

“We’ve now got families in which four generations have enjoyed this carnival. And the really great thing about this is that every penny we bring in from this carnival is turned back to the community in different forms of charity.”

The event includes food, games and rides and is open Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 28-Oct. 1 and Oct. 5-8.

The carnival opens at 6:30 p.m. each day except Oct. 1, which is Kiddie Day, when it opens at 4 p.m. Closing time is 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children 13-18. Children 12 and younger free. Rides are $1 and $2.

This year’s carnival is dedicated to Larry “Uncle Larry” David, a member president of the Little Cypress Lions Club and the second-longest serving Lion in the county with more than 45 years. He has been serving up “Uncle Larry’s Hamburgers” at the carnival for more than 40 years.

“He’s a heck of a good man,” Gunstream said. “I know we’re all proud that we’re going to be honoring him this year.”

Uncle Larry is rightly proud of the Lions, who use proceeds of the carnival to fund things like vision screenings and eye glasses for qualifying residents in Orange, the Texas Lions Camp for children with physical challenges, Back to School Orange County, Cops and Kids, Holiday Food Baskets and Salvation Army Bell Ringing at Christmas.

Participating Orange County Lions Clubs include the Orange Lions Club, the Orange Noon Lions, the Bridge City, Vidor and Little Cypress Lions Clubs.

David is also proud of the carnival.

“This is a rite of fall,” he said.

The Orange Lions Club Charity Carnival is unique because the club owns the rides. The current complement is nine, four targeted for teens and adults.

“It takes us a month to put it all together and we get it inspected by a state inspector,” David said. “I think we’re better carney people than the carnival people are.”