March carnival to support annual Masonic celebration

Published 1:22 am Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Florala tradition 144 years strong will get a little help in 2014 after the Florala City Council on Monday approved plans to hold a carnival at Lake Jackson in March, with proceeds going to benefit the June 24 Masonic Celebration.

Organizer Kennith Jackson sought and received approval for the carnival, which is scheduled for March 4-8. Jackson said the hope is that the carnival will bring in a crowd that will, not only enjoy the festivities, but will also spend time and money in Florala businesses.

“We try every year to get something like this for June 24, but there’s just never anyone available at that time,” Jackson said. “Since I have taken over, I have called everyone from Florida to Kentucky and Illinois, and no one could come.”

Jackson said he found a carnival for this year after contacting James Gang Amusements from Andalusia while simply going through his normal list.

“Jesse James, who runs the carnival in Andalusia every year, is going to bring this to us,” Jackson said. “I called like I do every year, just waiting to be told no, and they had an open date on the books. They couldn’t do it on June 24, but they did have an opening.”

Jackson said tentative plans include wristbands that will allow carnival-goers cheaper admission than at other events, although concrete prices have not yet been announced.

The bottom line, Jackson said, is the carnival will give Florala residents another weekend’s worth of activities, and will allow funds to be raised to support this year’s June 24 Masonic Celebration.

“Every year we have the Alligator Trot, the parade and the beauty pageant,” Jackson said. “All of the money stays in the community. The pageant winners get a scholarship for college, and everything left over goes towards the next year’s event.”