At 5 a.m. this morning, some early risers in Mill Valley may have noticed an unusual sight: a huge caravan of trucks, trailers and camper style vans parked in between Mill Valley Middle School and Friends Field, behind the Mill Valley Community Center. These vehicles brought with them a number of carnival rides including a Ferris wheel with a brand new $100,000 light package, bumper cars, and the infamous “Zipper.” Once assembled, they will make up the Kiddo!-sponsored Memorial Day carnival, which will run from Saturday May 26 through Monday May 28.
As of 5 p.m., the crew of approximately 70 people were out of their trailers and busily setting up the various attractions. While the carnival is branded as a Kiddo! event, the equipment and attractions themselves are owned and operated by the California Carnival Co., which specializes in fundraisers and small, family-oriented events. According to president and owner Kevin Tate, the target number of attractions is fifteen. However, due to limited space and safety requirements, this number may be slightly lower when the carnival opens on Friday
In addition to the festivities surrounding Memorial Day, the carnival also serves another purpose: Kiddo! fundraising. As per the agreement between the California Carnival Co. and Kiddo!, the local school foundation will receive a percentage of the gross profits from the event. The proceeds of the event will go towards art, technology, and physical education programs at Mill Valley Middle School and the five elementary schools in the Mill Valley School District. This is one of many fundraising events held throughout the year by Kiddo!.
The carnival will open at 5 p.m. Friday night, and will run through 5 p.m. Monday evening. Each night, with the exception of Monday, attractions will remain open until sometime between 10 and 11 p.m. In addition to the carnival, Monday will also feature a parade, live music, and food vendors located on Friends Field.