Despite threatening weather, CG Festival carnival opens

Grace Urbach, 11, squinted with focus as she aimed the stream of her water gun into the grinning hippo's mouth. With a pop, her balloon burst before her competitors' balloons - earning her a small stuffed pink dog. "I think it's amazing,' the Baltimore, Md., girl said of the Coast Guard Festival Carnival. "I think it's very well set up. It's definitely kid-appropriate.'
Lydia Coutré
Aug 4, 2011

Despite a severe thunderstorm watch, the Playworld Carnival opened as scheduled Tuesday night. Screams of riders, LED lights and the scent of corn dogs filled the hot air in downtown Grand Haven.

The Water Ski Show and the Street Dance, which were scheduled for Tuesday night, were moved to tonight. The Water Ski Show will be at 7 p.m. in front of Waterfront Stadium; and the Street Dance will start at 8 p.m. on Washington Avenue, between Third and Fourth streets.

Other than a few sprinkles and distant flashes of lightning, the weather held out and didn’t deter thousands from filling Washington Avenue on Tuesday night — looking to enjoy rides, games and food.

To see more photos from the carnival's opening night, click here.

At the west end of Washington Avenue, kids squealed as they bumped down the Fun Slide, hair whipping behind them. Parents sat on curbs and benches with strollers — watching and enjoying elephant ears, fries, nachos, popcorn, pretzels and lemonade. Visitors tried their luck at the games lining the street as they rolled balls, shot hoops, balanced on ladders and aimed water guns. A clown taunted anyone passing by, daring them to take a shot at the small target that would send him into a tank of water.

The carnival continues throughout the week.

— Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 2-6 p.m., unlimited rides with $20 wristband ($17 with merchant’s coupon); 6-11 p.m., unlimited rides with $20 wristband (no coupons).

— Saturday: noon to 4 p.m., unlimited rides with $12 wristband; 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., no wristbands available.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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