My, how time flies when we're having fun!
The Big Glen Burnie Carnival has been a summer tradition since 1908. When it opens at 7 p.m. tomorrow for this season, Shaw & Sons Amusements will operate its rides for the 50th consecutive year. Some things simply endure -- and get better.
"The Glen Burnie carnival is my favorite carnival," says Ralph E. Shaw, the company's current proprietor. "The people are so nice, and it's a family atmosphere. There's never any hassle . . . People come to have a good time, and that's what they do."
When the Shaw company first got involved with the Glen Burnie event, World War II was about to end. When war veterans are honored July 31, the carnival grounds on Crain Highway at Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard will be decorated with World War II posters and red-white-and-blue banners. Hot dogs will sell for 25 cents. The carnival, which will run until Aug. 5, will have more than 20 rides, plus games and food. An $8 ticket buys all the rides one can tolerate in one night.
This is the main fund-raising event of the Glen Burnie Improvement Association, which derives more than 70 percent of its budget from revenues. Its officials are praying for good weather because rain in the past two years drastically cut into carnival attendance.
Over the last 87 years, Glen Burnie has changed beyond recognition. What used to be a rural village surrounded by farms is now a booming suburb of residential developments and warehouse-type stores. There are big employers nearby, including Westinghouse and the Baltimore-Washington International Airport complex.
Yet Glen Burnie has problems. That's where the improvement association comes in. It is trying to make the community even better. In other words, every carnival ticket you buy supports a worthy cause.
Throughout Maryland, this is the carnival season. It's a splendid time to drive around and sample what various communities offer at their carnivals and fairs.
Go and ride the Ferris wheels. Try the corn on the cob and the fried chicken. Meet people from various walks of life. You will be surprised at Maryland's variety.