Clusters of teenage girls stood huddled around each other's cell phones, texting, chattering, and giggling. Packs of boys observed the girls intently, while leaning against concession trailers offering fried dough, snow cones, cotton candy, and other carnival staples, or congregated around stands where they demonstrated their prowess at games such as Skee-Ball and Whac-A-Mole.
Nearby, parents waited indulgently along exit railings or snapped pictures as they watched their kids experience the thrill of rides like The Scrambler, The Swings, and The Octopus. And wide-eyed toddlers in strollers clutched prizes won for them by family members or nibbled contentedly on festival treats.
The annual Lions Club was well underway Friday afternoon at . The proceedings continued through Sunday evening, and .
Brandon, 14, of Wethersfield explained his reason for attending succinctly.
"Girls, man. Do you see all the girls here?" he asked.
Allie Bassett, 24, of Waterbury came to the carnival to spend time with a friend from the area. Although she admitted that she felt like "the oldest person here without kids,” she said that she was still enjoying herself.
"It's a very positive, wholesome, family-friendly environment. It's actually really relaxing," Bassett said.
Bassett said that the youth-dominated atmosphere at the carnival did not put her off.
"They deserve it. It's, like, a culture shock for them for summer to be over and to be back in school already. They need to blow off a little steam,” she said.
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