LEWISBURG – Anyone who missed out on their funnel cakes and fun slides last year can get a jump on carnival season this week.

Penn Valley Shows, based in Middleburg, is hosting the Lewisburg Spring Carnival at Route 15 (Silver Moon) Flea Market Wednesday through Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.

In true carnival fashion, this one will feature rides, games and the carnival foods people love, including pizza, sausage, cheesesteaks, fried veggies, cotton candy, gourmet caramel apples, lemonade and more. Among a variety of rides will be a Ferris wheel, Mardi Gras mirror maze and 65-foot fun slide.

Penn Valley Shows’ merry-go-round is special, explained co-owner Christina Benner, because the horses are named after family members and friends. Christina and Kerry Benner’s first grandson, Camden, was recently photographed on his namesake, a black-and-white striped horse.

The Benners also named a horse in memory of two 12-year-old girls, Ashley Bender and Erika Mattern, killed in a motor vehicle accident near Middleburg in 2005. The Benner’s daughter, Alycia, was friends with the girls.

The Lewisburg Spring Carnival makes a nice pit stop for the Benners as they return from another carnival in Reading last week.

“It’s just bringing back some normalcy to everyone’s life, including our own,” Christina Benner said.

Last week’s carnival was a big hit.

“People started lining up at 3:30. We don’t open until 5:00,” Christina Benner said. “The line was about three blocks long every night.”

“What’s not to like?” said Chase Benner, general manager of Penn Valley Shows. “We have games. We have all our usual fair food, all the rides. The Roundup is always a family favorite.”

Both Christina and Chase Benner noted the carnival will follow CDC guidelines for pandemic safety. All employees will wear face masks, and all attendees are asked to wear them too. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the midway, and signs will remind people to maintain social distancing.

“It’s a new normal,” Chase Benner said. “We’re going to be disinfecting rides with a fogging disinfectant. It’s a carnival, but it’s a new way to carnival, encouraging everybody to follow CDC guidelines. It’s just a great way to get out and have a little fun.”

Parking and admission are free. Ride tickets will be available for purchase.

Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Email comments to her at CindyOHerman@gmail.com

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