Carnival has good showing on busy day

Published 5:25 pm Friday, September 15, 2023

The Walters Community Carnival created an opportunity for family friendly fun Saturday, Sept. 9, in Carrsville, and though attendance did not reach the levels of its inaugural edition last year, there were enough highlights to leave organizers with positive appraisals of the event.

“All in all, I think everybody that came out had a great time,” said Shawn Carr, who is president of the Walters Ladies Community Club, which organized the event.

The carnival, held in August last year, was pushed to September this year in an effort to avoid the heat, Carr said, but this year, along with the specter of inclement weather, it was competing against several other events taking place, including those in Courtland, Franklin and Suffolk.

Organizers estimated that approximately 125 people attended the carnival this year.

“It just wasn’t swamped like it was last year, but other than that, I think we had a really good showing,” Carr said.

Inside the Walters Ruritan Community House were multiple vendors, selling their products.

The carnival’s free features included bounce houses, sno-cones, popcorn, hot dogs, carnival games, a fire safety trailer and a Carrsville Volunteer Fire Department firetruck.

Lis Culpepper, who is running to be the Isle of Wight County clerk of court, helped organizers orchestrate the carnival, showing up Friday to help set up and staying throughout the event Saturday.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Culpepper said of the carnival. “The kids that came out, (they) came out and stayed and played in this bounce house and that bounce house and got their lunch and their treat, and everything’s free. These ladies have done a phenomenal job rounding up all of this.”

John Bencheck is a realtor from Chesapeake who had a booth at the event, and he also brought his 10-year-old son Matthew Bencheck to enjoy the carnival.

“This was a blast,” John said.

Carr said just about every child in attendance went through the fire safety trailer, which is shared by the city of Franklin and Southampton and Isle of Wight counties, and it was managed Saturday by Carrsville Volunteer Fire Department.

The trailer includes a smoke machine and has features to help teach children how to navigate out windows, down ladders and through sliding glass doors to escape fires.