Thousands flock to Brandon Carnival

‘Best-ever’ crowd, Moore reports


BRANDON –– The four-day Brandon Carnival brought delight to Estabrook Park despite the inclement weather on its opening day, Thursday, July 29, which was followed by an unusual string of three mostly sunny days for what had been a rainy, cool July.

CARNIVAL LIGHTS LIT the sky on Friday in Brandon’s Estabrook Field as record numbers attended the four-day event.

“When we started on Thursday it was rainy and I was worried, but everyone still came out and just ate their sausage and peppers in the rain,” said Brandon Recreation Director Assistant Colleen Wright.

Families, teens, and fun-lovers of all ages went on rides that blasted top 100 music out of their speakers, listened to tunes in the performance tent and ate carnival food, including the iconic food of choice: fried dough and hot dogs.

“It was our most successful year with about 8,000 people over the four days,” said Recreation Director Bill Moore of the festivities that drew more than twice the 2019 crowd with Saturday being the busiest. “I think people were ready to come out and enjoy themselves after a long arduous year of being locked up inside, and it was all thanks to the wonderful volunteers and sponsors that made it great.”

KAS SINGH OF Brandon and her daughter, Kiki Singh, share good times on a ride that had them holding on and laughing hard.

Audrey Gagnon, 31, who owns “Audrey the Kitchen Witch,” sold many of her handcrafted brownies, cookies, breads and cupcakes during her first time at the Brandon Carnival. “It’s been a great crowd and such a success,” said the White River Junction entrepreneur. “I am glad the wind died down,” she said of the opening day weather, “we had to hold the tent while we staked it in!”

But the sun came out Friday through Sunday and fun was had by all, especially for siblings Hailey and Kyle McClure of Brandon, who won stuffed animals at the dart board. “I like the fair,” said Hailey. “I like it as much as possible.”

Of all the entertaining events, Wildlife Encounters “did a great show,” said Wright. “They’re wonderful and I respect how they treat their animals, which is why we have them.” The show included Cayman, a tarantula and a snake.

“We had great crowds for all the entertainment events, and it was so busy,” Wright said of the fun-filled four days. “And we had no accidents. It was a fun family fest.”

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