No matter what your age, summer just wouldn't be summer without a dose of carnival.
Excitement is in the air: the flashing lights and noise of the midway, the wee ones eager for another go around, seeing old friends and neighbors, watching flirtatious adolescents line up around the ride with the loudest music, the happy squeals of a winner and the groans of a loser, the smell of potatoes and dough frying in a vat of forbidden fatty oil.
The wait, Pasadena, has ended.
Starting Monday, the annual Firemen's Carnival, sponsored by the Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Company, returns for a six-day run. The carnival, on the fire station grounds on Fort Smallwood Road, will run from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. nightly.
Returning by popular demand are ride-all-night-for-one-price evenings. You can treat the whole family to loads of fun without blowing the budget. Ride any or all of the featured rides as many times as you want on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evenings.
Don't forget to check with local merchants in Riviera Beach and along Mountain Road for free $2 discount coupons good on those evenings.
If your stomach can't take the rides, the midway is filled with games to try your luck or test your skills, and food to fuel you through the evening.
John and Paulette Richter are organizing the carnival again this year. Ms. Richter said many of the "old favorites" are back, including the produce wheel with fresh vegetables courtesy of Schramm's, the plant and money wheels and the crab cakes, pit beef sandwiches, funnel cakes and boardwalk-style fries.
New this year are a bingo wheel; a variety wheel (with food and other assorted prizes) staffed by Monica Foster, Miss Fire Prevention, and Stacey Watts, Junior Miss Fire Prevention; and deliciously tart and sticky lemons with peppermint sticks.
If Lady Lucky doesn't smile on you at the vegetable, plant or goldfish stands, you can console yourself, and rest your tired feet, in the air-conditioned hall above the firehouse while playing a few games of bingo.
The firefighters also will be selling raffle tickets on several donated items.
The Firemen's Parade will take place at 6 p.m. July 22. In addition to fire equipment from all over the state, the parade will feature the U.S. Coast Guard Color Guard, majorettes and drum and bugle corps and antique cars.
So make it a point of stopping by next week to have some fun and to help the community.
The firehouse is adjacent to McDonald's restaurant. For more details, call the firehouse at 255-3636.
Hot and spicy steamed crabs are the featured item at Stony Creek Democratic Club crab feast from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. July 30 at the Fort Smallwood Road clubhouse.
In addition to the crustaceans, freshly steamed on the premises, visitors will be treated to the Bobby Berger Review from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Tickets are $18 per person in advance, $23 at the door. The price includes all-you-can-eat crabs, beer, sodas, setups, a deli buffet and the one-hour show. Food will be served from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
You can reserve a table for 10 people by calling Joe Yori at 255-8312.
& Information: 255-4611.