Carnival delivers something for everyone
Feb. 24, 2012 at 7:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 23, 2012 at 8:24 p.m.
Michael Castillo's hair flopped as he bounced off the Kamikaze ride at the Victoria Livestock Show carnival.
His eyes were shining.
"I love that ride," Michael exclaimed. "When I was little, I would see my sister go on the ride and I was like, 'No. I want to ride.' but I was only up to her chest, so I was too small."
Now that Michael is taller, the 11-year-old doesn't waste a single second - he could not drink the carnival in fast enough on opening night.
As he rode the Genesis ride, he displayed how un-fazed he was by the height and speed by making faces at his sister and her friends below.
His big sister Meghan Castillo, 13, approached the carnival with a more reverent awe.
Anticipation grew daily for Meghan and her friends Caitlyn Newman and Jared Gomez, both 13, who attend Stroman Middle School. Over the week they watched the carnival take shape across the street from their school.
The field at the Victoria Community Center was transformed Thursday night to a world all aglow with flashing lights from rides and carnival games.
While Michael wanted to ride the Genesis a second time, his sister coaxed him to ride a carnival favorite - the Zipper.
Sisters Alexis Villarreal and Deanna Aguinaga, both 14, love to ride the Zipper each year.
Children spin around an oval shaft in individualized compartments that also rotate independently of the main shaft.
"You can rock it back and forth with your feet," Alexis said.
Caitlyn has been on the ride in previous years. While it made her dizzy then, she said she will probably ride it again while the carnival is in town.
"My favorite ride is the Kamikaze," Meghan said. "I like when it goes up in the air and stops at the top."
Jared is more impressed by the Spin Out.
"It twists and turns in all directions," he said, as he remembered riding it in previous years.
Meghan paused from socializing with her friends to snap a few pictures of her brother, as he waited in line to experience yet another thrill.
While they witness a variety of events come and go at the community center across the street from their school, none compare to the lights, sounds and tastes that come with the carnival they attended faithfully each year.
As the carnival initially opened, Meghan, Caitlyn and Jared strolled about, taking it all in - and socializing with other friends in the glow of the carnival aura.
The students will return on subsequent nights to actually partake in the carnival goodness.
Amid the screeching and churning of the rides, the screams of delight and terror ring out from people of all ages who brave the rides.
Boisterous voices entice people to come play games for prizes - such as stuffed animals or jerseys - or see curious sights - a snake with the head of a woman or a woman only 26 inches tall.
Smells of carnival staples - including cotton candy, popcorn, candied apple and nachos - waft through the air.
And while Caitlyn and Jared love the funnel cakes, Meghan prefers the curly fries - always a little something for everyone.