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Fall Festival carnival looking for riders

Bad math will likely benefit Fall Festival carnival riders this weekend.

Mike Davis, owner of Davis Amusements, said he miscounted the number of rides and attractions for the carnival to the benefit those who visit the annual event.

"Normally we bring about 23 or 24 rides into the Fall Festival, but I think we might have miscounted and we brought something like 26 rides this year," he said. "The carnival is really the hub around which everything else turns. The vendors are all great but it wouldn't be the same if we didn't have all these carnival rides out here."

Carnival employees were unloading and setting up the attractions on Wednesday, while other workers were busy fluffing up stuffed animals for the carnival's midway, which Davis said will be even bolder than last year.

He also noted though some games are challenging, with a bit of practice, anyone can go home a winner.

"You can win with a little practice or no practice at all sometimes because we don't work on chance," he said. "It's more skill than anything else. The midway is always a popular aspect of the carnival. We have two semi truckloads of new stuffed animals coming in from Los Angeles, so we're looking forward to a good crowd this year."

Those who choose to defer the rides, no doubt will visit one of several food stands on the carnival grounds, where Davis said there will be something for everyone to savor.

"The carnival food is always popular with a lot of fried goodies," he said. "Just about anything on a stick that you want and everything is back including the cotton candy, corn dogs and curly fries. Anything you want to see at a county fair we will have."

Davis said he also brought out a new ride that promises to elicit thrills from carnival-goers, called the "Hurricane."

Advance tickets are $25, or $30 at the gate.

Family fun packs and single tickets are also available.

Additionally, the carnival has expanded its operating hours.

On Thursday the carnival will operate from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Friday and Saturday's hours are 11 a.m. until midnight, while Sunday the rides will remain open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Those who are not inclined to partake in the carnival rides may want to check out the arts and crafts show inside the Bob Ruud Community Center.

Though judging wrapped up earlier this week, organizer Joyce Higginbothom commented on the quality work of local artists and crafters.

Higginbothom is also part of Pahrump's Shadow Mountain Quilters, who are coordinating the event.

"We have 33 categories and we have over 300 sub-categories," she said. "People have entered a wide variety of items. "We have framed art and photography in one room and there's a whole collection of food items that have been entered, including baked goods and canned goods."

Additionally, decorative plants, beading and woodworking are also on display.

"We have dolls and clothing that people have made as well as quilts, knitting work, and crochet. It's every kind of craft that you can imagine."

Higginbothom noted things were not all positive and organized with the arts and crafts show, as issues involving volunteers forced the organizers to create an alternative a few years ago.

"There was only one year that the arts and crafts committee couldn't come up with the volunteers to make it happen, but Matt Luis from the town helped the quilters," she said. "He called and asked if we could pull it together. This is the second year the Shadow Mountain Quilters are volunteering to chair the arts and crafts portion of the Fall Festival. It's sort of an extension of what we do with the quilt show every year in February."

Exhibits will be on display at the community center on Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is free, but Higginbothom said no food or drinks will be allowed inside the building.

"Because we are responsible for what's in this room, we don't want anybody spilling their soft drink all over somebody's heirloom quilt," she said. "When people come out on Friday, everything will be laid out quite nicely and we're hoping for a great turnout."

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