People come in droves, slowly inching their way towards the gates. The impatient ones take it upon themselves to maneuver their way in front. Above us Snowbirds charge through the sky like synchronized swimmers.
Our moods lift upon gaining entrance on to the grounds. Surrounding us are endless queues that are waiting for another to join in their snake like fashion. That does not damper the anticipation. The first ride is moments away!
As we linger, our three year old declares that she must ride in the yellow one. Yellow, having always been her favourite, is loosely referring to the sparkly gold four-seater. Most of the little girls dash towards the pink vehicles, while the boys beeline toward the blue so her wish is granted. She takes her place beside another little girl and places her hands upon the steering wheel. There is no fear, only eagerness. The carny starts the great circle and off they go. Round and round. Occasionally she spots me on the sidelines and waves. All too soon the ride comes to an end. Parents scurry from every direction to collect their children and away we go to find another thrilling ride. She's had her first taste of the carnival. She is beaming with a permanent smile.
The intoxicating smells of sticky sweet treats intermingle with the more unpleasant stench of the crowd. The blings and dings of games drown out the person trying to sway you to play. In every direction we soak in the colours that light up the night sky casting a magical glow. It electrifies the spirit of the child within. The fountain of youth may be found in the fruit flavoured syrup poured on a snow cone.
A Mardi Gras parade dazzles the crowd. Adults snatch up the bead necklaces but a kind woman gives one to our daughter. A man, sitting on a float, aims his camera to capture the joy upon her face. A mascot blows kisses to her. It is likely that she is over the moon.
To keep the children up past their bedtime they devour warm, cinnamon sugar sprinkled mini-doughnuts. We make our way through the midway. The baby gleefully bounces as she looks up to see the colourful explosion of fireworks. It marks the end of the perfect day.