Whether you're young or old, there's something about a carnival that screams summer. The flashing lights and noise of the midway, tiny tots with excitement in their eyes and cotton candy everywhere else, seeing old friends and exchanging news with long-lost neighbors, flirtatious young adolescents congregating around the ride with the loudest music and the longest line, the squeals of a winner when they hit and the groans of the losers when they don't. It's not really summer unless you've had a dose of carnival.
Well, Pasadena, the wait has ended. Next week the annual Firemen's Carnival, sponsored by Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Co., returns for a six-day run, starting Monday, at the fire station grounds on Fort Smallwood Road, adjacent to McDonald's.
Carnival hours will be from 7 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
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 nine featured rides as many times as you want on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
If you're really out for a bargain time, don't forget to check with local merchants for free $2 discount coupons good on those evenings.
If amusement rides aren't exactly what you are looking for, there is still a packed midway filled with games to try your luck and test your skill and delicious food to tempt your tummy. (The boardwalk-style fries, barbecue and funnel cakes remain big hits with my family.) If Lady Luck doesn't smile on you at the vegetable, plant or goldfish stands, you can console yourself (and rest your weary bones) in the air-conditioned hall above the firehouse while playing a few games of bingo.
The fire company will also be selling raffle tickets, with $500 guaranteed to the big winner.
The Firemen's Parade will take place at 6 p.m. next Saturday, July 18. In addition to fire equipment from all over the state, the parade will feature bands, majorettes and drum and bugle corps competing for awards.
So stop by next week, have some fun and give a little bit back to those volunteers that give so much to our community.
* The YWCA will offer a two-week Red Cross swimming course for children ages 3 to 12, at Fairwood Pool on Fairwood Drive, beginning July 27.
The 10-lesson course, taught by a certified water safety instructor, costs $30. A YWCA membership fee of $10 is required in addition to course fees.
Testing for appropriate course level will be conducted from 9 to 11 a.m. July 27.
To sign up or for more details, call the YWCA at 647-1500.
* Now that the Fourth of July is but a memory, Downs Park can get back to what it does best: offer a wide range of informative and entertaining programs to a variety of visitors.
Tonight and again on July 24, the park will open its 2,000-foot bayside shoreline to anglers for an evening of fishing.
Fishermen must preregister and enter the park by dusk. All state fishing regulations apply.
* Get a taste of the Barcelona games at the American Youth Hostel's Volleyball by the Bay Tournament, from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday in the day camp area of the park.
Spectators are invited.
* Music lovers have two concerts to choose from this weekend as the Bayside Concert Series continues in the amphitheater area.
At 6 p.m. tomorrow evening, Pete Kennedy will be in concert. Kennedy, rescheduled from a wet evening in May, will present his unique blend of pop and acoustic music.
Jazz, cool and classy, will fill the air at 6 p.m. on Sunday, when Roy Battle and the Altones return to the stage.
If you've heard the tasty tunes this group has dished up before, you won't want to miss one morsel of Sunday's concert.
Plenty of lawn seating is available. Picnic dinners are welcomed, but pets, skateboards, alcohol and bikes aren't.
* Dennis Christopher, NASA aerospace education specialist, will back on July 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for model rocket launches in the day camp area.
Before launch time, participants will learn about safety and activities associated with model rocketry. They'll even get to coordinate a model launch to simulate the real thing at Cape Canaveral.
Advance registration is required.
* At 7 p.m. July 27, the park will present Nature Video Night featuring "Natural States" from Miramar Productions.
From Big Sur and the Point Lobos State Reserve in Northern California to the Puget Sound shoreline and the San Juan Islands, this video will transport viewers on a trip through various ecosystems in and around the United States.
To sign up or for more details about programs, call 222-6230.