He said his son enjoys the carnival, too, because since they have so much family around, more people know him in Winfield than in his hometown in Illinois.
“Plus you can’t get crab cakes in the Midwest,” Christian Shipley said. “I usually don’t eat seafood up there.”
Carroll County residents came from all different municipalities for rides like the Zipper, Rok N Roll, slide and car carousel — and for chances to win stuffed animals, goldfish and lizards from the myriad game offerings.
Stephanie Zufal, a longtime Manchester resident, came to the carnival with her 3-year-old son, Jayden. With help, Jayden tried his hand at shooting a plastic cup with a gun for a prize. She said coming every year is a tradition for the family.
“We usually take both our kids every year,” she said, “but [my daughter] is in Ocean City with my mom this year.”
On Monday night they came with other family members who still live in the vicinity, and said they also go to the Gamber fire carnival every year because it’s so close to their home.
Other family members were watching their younger kids take less tumultuous trips on rides set up for younger children, Cwiek said.
Blaine Robertson, 17, turned his carnival attendance into one that makes him a summer profit.
Soon to be a senior at Francis Scott Key High School, Robertson has spent the past five summers divvying out table tennis balls to carnival goers hoping to win goldfish. This year he recruited his friend Dontae Smith, 17, to work with him.
“Yeah I meet a lot of people,” he said. “It’s a good summer job, and good for gas money.”
At the other end of the carnival, Winfield volunteers and fire company President Robert Farver were working the beverage booth — which flanked a burger and hot dog stand to the left, and a pit beef stand to the right.
Farver said last year’s carnival raised about $160,000 of which the fire company was able to use $65,000 for its services.
“We always want to raise the bar,” said Farver, who hopes this year’s carnival earns more money for the department than last year. “We offer good food, a lot of rides, and try to take care of the community.