ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Stephen Stimpson sets up his booth at the carnival.
By BRIDGET TURCOTTE
REVERE — The Revere Spring Carnival opened Thursday night for the 30th straight year.
The Fiesta Shows carnival is at the Showcase Cinemas parking lot at 565 Squire Road. Crowds in the thousands swarm the carnival grounds for the games, traditional carnival food, petting zoo and two dozen rides.
“During fair season you see the more unique foods but in the springtime people want the typical fried dough, sausages, caramel apples, candy apples, cotton candy,” said EJ Dean, vice president of operations of Dean & Flynn, Inc., also called Fiesta Shows. “We don’t allow calories to count when you come to visit the carnival.”
Dean & Flynn, Inc. was founded by Eugene Dean and Jack Flynn in 1935 at Salisbury Beach. By 1950, the two showmen signed a contract to provide the carnival midway at the Topsfield Fair, the nation’s oldest fair that draws crowds of more than 500,000 people annually, according to their website. The team purchased Fiesta Shows in 1967 and has been the exclusive carnival partner of the Topsfield Fair for more than half a century.
With a roller coaster, kiddie rides for children, thriller rides for teens, a carousel for the nostalgic parents and bumper cars, Dean said they’ve catered to all demographics for Revere’s carnival.
Farmyard animals from Step by Step Animal Adventures, a farm in Orange, will be on site to meet with visitors each day.
The festival is sponsored by the McCarthy-Trifone Recreation Committee. Proceeds from the event go back to the committee to fund youth programs, including sports, said Dean.
The carnival will run through April 16 and is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday at 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 1 pm.
Unlimited ride armbands are sold Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday for $25 per person.
Bridget Turcotte can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.