Couples enjoy date night at the carnival
IF YOU GOWHAT: Victoria Livestock Show Carnival
WHERE: Victoria Community Center, 2905 E. North St.
WHEN: Through Feb. 27 - 5 p.m. to 11 p.m Monday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to midnight Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Sunday
In matching Victoria West letter jackets, Joshua Morgan and Taylor McCrary completed lap three, hand-in-hand, around the Victoria carnival Thursday night.
A tiny stuffed dog peeked out of Taylor's jacket pocket - a $10 token of Joshua's love, or more appropriately, a couple's new inside joke of being swindled at the carnival.
"They didn't make it clear how much I was spending. Apparently that was their large prize," Joshua said with a laugh.
Despite the gift's modesty, Taylor said she appreciated the thought, which is particularly appropriate given the couple met after Joshua's dog ate through Taylor's fence.
"I'll probably put it on my shelf and say, "Hey, I remember that," the sophomore said.
"And I'll remember the mumbling (worker) who sold me a $10 dog," Joshua, a senior, joked.
It was the first night of the carnival, and among families and funnel cakes were several couples strolling through the Victoria Community Center grounds.
The carnival, with its free entry, could be a cheap date, or the festivities could prove to be a wallet breaker.
Paul Garcia, 17, said this was one of the more expensive dates he's taken his girlfriend of just more than a year.
He, too, got encouraged into popping balloons for a $10 stuffed bunny, which his girlfriend, Veronica Martinez, 13, held under her arm.
Despite the apparent "rip-off," Paul took the romance a step further, buying Veronica an airbrushed shirt that said "Baby."
The couple said they attended last year's carnival with friends, but that spending this year with each other was more fun.
"She just makes me laugh," Paul said.
Joshua also remembered attending past carnivals with friends, who could become annoying, unlike his girlfriend of eight months, he said.
"Obviously, I have to try harder then," Taylor teased.
Both couples said the carnival was a welcomed alternative to their usual dates to the movie theater.
"It's nice to do something different," Taylor said. "There's not much to do in Victoria."
And despite the roaring rides around them, the couple said they were content just walking around.
"The most intense thing I'll ride is the Ferris wheel," Taylor said.
Joshua wasn't about to pressure her.
"I like rides, but I don't trust carnival rides," he said. "There's something about a ride that's folded up like a tent."