Big Glen Burnie Carnival features new attractions


July 28, 1999|By Donna Koros Stramella | Donna Koros Stramella,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

I'VE HAD a long and satisfying relationship with the Big Glen Burnie Carnival over the years, but like most associations, this one has seen some changes.

As a child, my favorite ride was the electric swing. My mother insists the ride cost a small fortune one year, and I screamed like a banshee every time my parents tried to remove me from it. After shelling out the contents of my father's wallet on subsequent rides, the smooth motion of the swing finally lulled me to sleep.

A year or two later, I was screaming again, but this time I wanted off a ride. Sitting between my parents, I was stuck at the top of the Ferris wheel. As I began to look nervous, my parents pointed out the bird's-eye view of the carnival grounds. When that didn't work, they began to gently rock the seat, hoping the motion would calm my fears. People heard my screams clear over at the candy apple stand.

As a teen-ager, my rides of choice were the Zipper and the Himalayas. A decade later, my husband and I frequented the prize stands, where he tried (in vain) to win me a stuffed animal.

For many years, my trips to the carnival were restricted to the kiddie section, as I watched my daughters go round and round in boats, cars, motorcycles and swings. Four years ago, my youngest tried her luck at winning a goldfish, after my husband insisted she'd never get the pingpong ball in the bowl. The fish, Mandy and Cleo, are still alive and well in their plastic container.

These days, I'm most likely to be found trying my luck at the Utz stand or enjoying a crab cake.

Families have anticipated the arrival of the Big Glen Burnie Carnival since 1908. This year, about 250,000 people are expected to visit between Friday and Aug. 7. Carnivalgoers will find enough games, rides and food for an evening (or two) of fun.

Visitors can try their luck at a variety of wheel stands. Perennial favorites will be joined by the collectible decorative tin stand, a newcomer this year.

Kiddie games feature a prize each time. For a $2 ticket, someone will walk away with the grand prize -- a metallic blue 1999 Volkswagen Beetle.

The carnival Midway will take on a different look this year, thanks to a new ride operator. The most dramatic change will be a Ferris wheel with gondola cars. Bumper cars will return after a long absence.

The kiddie section will include rides that accommodate parent and child. Ride tickets are $1 each, with those in the kiddie section requiring one ticket and larger rides requiring two. Ride-all-night tickets are available Monday through Thursday for $10 if purchased before 9 p.m.

Food will be plentiful and fresh, with crab cakes at the top of the list. New this year are soft pretzels and meatball sandwiches.

The carnival is a community event. Volunteers return year after year, and profits support local education and health care, among other programs. Barbara Moeller serves as chairwoman.

The Big Glen Burnie Carnival is open at 7 p.m. each day except Saturday, when it opens at 5 p.m. It is closed Sunday. The grounds are between Crain and Ritchie highways adjacent to the Baltimore and Annapolis bike trail. Admission and parking are free.

Information: 410-766-6760.

Scouts help clean up

Boy Scout Troop 474 will show community spirit by supporting the carnival. Scouts and their families will meet each morning to keep the neighborhoods around the carnival grounds free of litter. Chuck Slater is coordinating the cleanup effort, which takes about 90 minutes each day. For details, call Slater at 410-761-1448.

Swim meet Saturday

The Country Club Estates Recreation Association plays host to the Central Maryland Swim League Division VII Championship Saturday.

The competition begins at 9 a.m. and is expected to last until 1 p.m. The Country Club Cruisers will welcome swim clubs from Crofton, Edgewater, Baltimore and Fort Meade. Each team will be represented by its top three swimmers in each event. About 500 people are expected to attend.

Swim Booster President Michelle Novak said the event is a good way for prospective team members to see the club in action. "If you're going to watch a meet, this is the one to go to," she said.

Local businesses have donated items for the meet, which helps raise money for the host club.

Under the direction of coach Scot Budde and assistant coach Gina Ballard, the Cruisers won two of their meets this season, a good showing considering the large number of new swimmers, said Novak.

The pool is on Paul Marr Drive in the Country Club Estates community.

Information: 410-766-9857.

Vacation Bible School

"Son Castle Faire" will be the theme for Glen Lutheran Church's Vacation Bible School this summer.

Open to children who have completed preschool through grade six, the school runs from 9 a.m. to noon from Monday through Aug. 6.

The weeklong session offers crafts, songs, Bible stories, snacks and games. The church is at 106 Carroll Road. Registration information: 410-766-6534.

Summer blood drive

Holy Trinity Church will hold its annual summer bloodmobile from 7: 30 a.m. to 1: 30 p.m. Sunday.

The Red Cross tries to maintain at least a three-day supply of blood types, but summer reserves are generally low, due to an increased need and a decrease in donations.

People 18 and older who are in good health and weigh more than 110 pounds can give blood every two months. Seventeen-year-olds can donate blood with their parents' written consent.

The church hall is at 7436 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd.

Appointments: 410-761-0658.

Pub Date: 7/28/99

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