Lauren Christie | Contributing Writer
To some, the fall season signifies the changing color of the leaves or the weather slowly shifting. To others, fall represents the time to start the countdown for the best event of the year. The annual celebration where crisp October air feels warmer surrounded by the people you love. The sound of genuine laughter, excitement, and amusement fill the area. Not to mention the aroma of fried delicious food. The Cove Side Carnival is a family-friendly event that takes place every year, in Old Wethersfield.
The carnival is held at Cove Park, which is a free and open space in the middle of old Wethersfield. Old Wethersfield is the most nostalgic and historical part of town. Several other events such as Porchfest, Holidays on Main, and the Fall Harvest Festival are held there—making Old Wethersfield the perfect location for a carnival.
The Cove Side carnival is the perfect night for kids to enjoy the thrill of rides, make new friends, and experience the magic of the unexpected. Adults have their own area to be entertained by live music and enjoy a cold beverage. The carnival represents the nature of taking risks, having fun, and seeking new adventures. The unique history of the event comes from a memorable Wethersfield resident, Richard Keane. Richard Keane died from the tragic events of 9/11. Keane’s family started a foundation in town known as the Keane Foundation. The foundation plans and conducts the carnival as a gift to the city with free parking and admission. Money raised from the foundation contributes to the foundations’ efforts to entertain and put on events in the Wethersfield area.
Although you don’t have to be a Wethersfield resident to enough the festivities, most Wethersfield residents have fond memories of their experiences. Wethersfield High School alumni, Maddie Bradbury, states her favorite part of the Cove Side carnival was the chance to experience the best of every aspect for three days in a row. “The cove carnival was a fun and exciting experience for me, every day felt a second chance to relive the fun.” Says Bradbury. Maddie Bradbury is the oldest out of three brothers in her family, she and her family have lived in Wethersfield for only a year and a half. Bradbury also says, “Being the only girl in my family has come with challenges, but the Cove carnival is where my family really grew and connected. It wasn’t just a town tradition it was a family tradition.”
Families always struggle to find time for each other, so they tend to have to make choices and sacrifices for the sake of quality time. Challenges arise from the infinite amount of chooses that need to be made: where to eat, where to go, and what activities each person would want to do. It’s impossible to please everyone, but with a large variety of food vendors at the carnival, everyone can have a say. Fans of savory options may enjoy options such as a warm baked potato, French fries, or pizza. Someone with a sweeter palette would gravitate toward the cotton candy, fried dough, and Oreos. The carnivals timeline understands people’s busy schedules. The Cove carnival runs from Friday evening 5pm-10pm, Saturday 12pm-10pm and ends Sunday 12pm-6pm.
Nights can be spent riding fantastic rides. The carnival has a variety of rides, like attractions that can lift you high into the sky and willingly drop you back down. Another ride takes you up to the stars hang glide style—with you laid on your stomach strapped in as you zoom through the air. With the purchase of a wristband, the thrill-seeker in you won’t be able to resist, as you’ll be granted access to every ride, and the fun doesn’t have to end!
Spend the day playing the competitive carnival games with the upper hand of being in the sunlight. You never know when the prize can be yours. Or go on the carousel and take that in-the-sky’ photo to capture the beauty of this timeless event.
Giving yourself time to relieve stress and blow off steam in a fun way is so important. Whether you spend your time meeting new people or with family and friends, being with others is a way to feel fulfilled. Even if you’ve never heard of the town of Wethersfield or the history behind it, this fair is the perfect autumn event for anyone in New England. Meet you on the carousel!