THE GLEN BURNIE Improvement Association touches the community in big ways and small ways, donating funds for items such as heart monitors and school computers. And GBIA's budget is based largely on its annual mega-fund-raiser - the Big Glen Burnie Carnival.
About 250,000 people are expected to visit this year's carnival from Friday through Aug. 5. Jolly Shows of Annapolis will provide the rides for the second year. New additions include Titanic, an inflatable boat ride. Ride-all-night tickets are available Monday through Thursday for $11. Continuing favorites (likely dating back to the carnival's start in 1908) are the pony ride and the carousel.
Hungry carnival-goers will not be disappointed. Selections include crab cakes, snow cones, cotton candy and pizza. Games, for adults and children, will round out the midway.
With such a fun event, it's easy to miss the effort more than 1,000 volunteers put into the carnival. This year's chairwoman, Barbara Moeller, has held the position of chair, co-chair or assistant chair since 1987. "It's in my blood," she said. "I love it."
When you walk around the carnival grounds, you see the dedicated staff of volunteers everywhere.
At the stands, representatives from Glendale Elementary School will man "Beanie Babies," Glen Burnie High band members will run Fisher's Popcorn (a first this year), Glen Burnie Lions will work the fruit stand and Glen Burnie Park Improvement Association will handle the hanging baskets. Glen Burnie-area Girl Scout troops have triple duty this year - at the kiddy games, penny pitch and glass pitch.
"They all come out to help," Moeller said. "And after the carnival closes, I have a teen staff who cleans up the grounds."
Each year, the community responds. There are young families, retirees, couples and teen-agers, all out for an evening of fun while supporting a good cause.
"I think it all goes back to our logo," Moeller said. "It's a family tradition. We have people who call from out of state to find out the dates for the carnival. If they're coming back here for a visit, they want to be here when the carnival is open. I think people see what we do for our community as an association, by giving back to the community."
The Big Glen Burnie Carnival opens at 7 p.m. each day except Saturdays, when the grounds open at 6 p.m. The midway closes at 11 p.m. nightly. The carnival is not open on Sunday.
The grounds are between Crain and Ritchie highways next to the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail Park. Admission and parking are free.
For more information, call 410-766-6760.
Summer blood drive
Holy Trinity Church will hold its annual summer bloodmobile campaign from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
The Red Cross tries to maintain at least a three-day supply of all blood types, but summer reserves are low because of increased need and a drop 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.