Carnival comes to Luverne

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 17, 2005

Special to the Journal

Kids and adults alike will find fun at Big-Hearted Jerry's Carnival at Luverne's E.L. Turner Park.

The carnival, owned by Jerry Bohlander, arrived in Luverne on Wednesday and will run until Saturday, June 18.

Gates open at 6 p.m. and go until 10 p.m., said manager Dennis Dance.

Bohlander has had his own carnival since 1945. More than a half-century has honed his perception as to what Americans most enjoy every year when the 'carnival comes to town.'

He maintains the latest thrills in kiddie, as well as teenage and adult rides, yet retains everybody's traditional carnival expectations of revolving carousels piping the world's happiest music, a Ferris Wheel, circling swans and Disney-inspired green turtles and the cutest Choo-Choo for kids. Games? You betcha! Darts, safe crossbow, bowling, etc. For adolescents there's yellow ducks in a real stream where every child wins a prize, fishy-fish where no child walks away without something furry to cuddle, the ubiquitous live goldfish everyone remembers so well, but all of this is a mere sample of what's offered.

Equally significant is the carnival workers themselves who fit right in as if part of a Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's hit play "Carousel." The workers dress colorfully, yet are impeccably clean and wholesome, and are requested not to smoke on the job. Their Emily Post manners and speech are sprinkled with 'Yes Ma'am, 'No Ma'am, 'Yes sir, 'No sir,' and echoes respect, courtesy and graciousness.

Typically, the carnival performs often at religious fundraisers organized by Baptist, Roman Catholic, and Greek Orthodox churches, fire departments, and the like as well as civic organizations. The prime objective of the carnival is to drive away leaving behind happy memories of clean, 'safety first', carnival rides (crowned of course by an antique carousel), generous revenue added to your event's coffers and an immaculate property clean-up, leaving no trace of a carnival except those family memories of a happy festival or picnic and anticipation of others where Big-Hearted Jerry's Carnival will bring joy.