Melissa Bernal brings her granddaughters Myrah Bernal and Mariah Perez to the livestock show carnival every year to play games, ride colorful rollercoasters and eat funnel cakes. In the past, she said the rides looked dirty and the attractions run down.
But this year is different.
“The (carnival( is a little pricier, but well worth it,” Melissa said. “The rides are in better condition and the employees look more professional.”
Pride of Texas Shows, a family-owned carnival company based in Beeville, is providing the thrills to local carnival goers at this year’s Victoria Livestock Show. The company, run by a father-son duo, has been in business since 1965 and sets up carnival venues throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
“In this business, you can’t just like it,” Doug Barton, co-owner of the company said. “You have to love it, or you won’t make it.”
Barton has grown up around the carnival business since he was 3 years old and raised his son Chris in the industry. His son co-owns Pride of Texas Shows with his dad.
The Bartons’ carnival features more than 30 mechanical rides and about 25 booths, which include games and food stands.
Randy Oaks attends the carnival almost every year and likes the new rollercoaster options.
“The rides seem up to par,” Oaks said. “The rides are cleaner and look newer.”
Pride of Texas Shows focuses on family-friendly rides and features. A new ride called No Limit made its debut in Victoria.
“This ride is gonna be a good addition to their carnival,” said Robby Tucker, subcontractor for KMG, the company that built the new ride. “Pride of Texas Shows has got a reputation for being one of the best run carnivals in the country.”
The 80-foot pendulum-swing ride features an A-frame with four “gondolas” that rotate around a swinging pole. The ride accommodates a total of 16 people, four in each gondola, and each seat has an overhead lap bar with the riders feet dangling.
“The kids are gonna love it,” Tucker said.