It’s one day until the 70th Lions Club Carnival kicks off for 2010. Held each year at Orange Lions Park, located at 1802 Main Ave., the carnival was started in 1939. It has only been cancelled one year, during World War II.

The event was postponed by Hurricanes Rita and Ike, but were held as soon as possible to give residents a break from hurricane repairs.

The carnival runs Oct. 6-9, 13-16, with the gates opening at 6:30 p.m. everyday except Oct. 9, which is Kiddie Day. On that day, the gates open at 4 p.m. The carnival closes at 10 p.m. during the week and may run a little later on Friday and Saturday, depending on the crowd.

Admission is $2 for 18 and up, $1 for 13-17, 12 and under get in free. Rides are $1 each. For the little ones, there is a small Ferris wheel, train, Lions Super Slide, kiddie cars and a carousel. A larger Ferris wheel, Tilt-A-Whirl, Round Up and Scrambler are available for teenagers and adults.
Food and drink at the carnival are: hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, pork-a-bobs, corn dogs, nachos, pizza, turkey legs, cold drinks, lemonade, ice tea, coffee, hot chocolate, funnel cakes, cotton candy, peanuts, popcorn and snow cones.

Your favorite amusements are also back: L.I.O.N.S. Bingo, Blinky, balloons, Dime Toss, Pop Gun Shoot, Goldfish Toss, Sock It To Me – Bottle Toss, Basketball Toss, Football Toss, Miniature Golf and Ring Toss.

According to Stump Weatherford, second vice president of the Orange Lions Club, the majority of Lions Club funds come from the carnival each year. Money raised is disbursed among the many programs the Lions administer. Vision and its protection is high on the list of Lions’ goals. Texas Lions Eye Bank handles transplants of corneas for the visually impaired. Lions also provide leader dogs to the blind.

Lions World Services for the Blind offers training as mechanics and teaches computer skills to offer independence for the blind. “The IRS hires a bunch of visually impaired workers,” said Weatherford. Eyeglasses are also offered to students who need them. “Nurses call us if a student needs eyeglasses and can’t afford them.” They also have an eyeglass recycling program and Texas Lions Camp offers fun for disabled children.

Lions also present food baskets for the holidays. Weatherford said the Orange Lions distributes about 130.

“We also give back to the community in the form of scholarships to area schools,” said Weatherford.

Texas Lions Foundation for Disasters helped during the recent hurricanes.

Participating in this year’s carnival are the Orange Lions Club, Orange Noon Lions, Bridge City Lions Club, Pinehurst Lions Club, Little Cypress Lions Club and Vidor Lions Club.

Don’t forget to check the carnival out. Families can spend the evening at Lions Park for not much money and it all goes to a good cause.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.