The Rolla Sesquicentennial Celebration and Route 66 Summerfest on June 4, 2011 gave us all plenty to celebrate, but summer just wouldn’t be summer in Rolla if it wasn’t for the annual Lions Club Carnival, which kicks off in just 13 days on Friday, July 1.
Now in its 76th season, it is among the most highly celebrated traditions and events in Rolla and South Central Missouri. It’s hard to believe from an historic perspective that the Rolla Lions Club’s 20th Annual Carnival was moved from Buehler Park (located at Kingshighway and Fairgrounds Road) to Lions Club Park on Bishop Highway in July 1955. The enduring legacy of the carnival is evident by not only its duration, but the tens of thousands who attend the 4-day carnival.
Set among the backdrop of scenic Lions Club Park, the carnival attracts generations of families, friends and neighbors, as well as thousands of visitors around the region who enjoy the sights, sounds, aromas, fun and fireworks that make the Lions Club Carnival an American and hometown experience. The carnival will be in full swing at Lions Club Park located at 1061 South Bishop Avenue (State Route 63 South) from July 1 through July 4 with carnival rides, game booths, great-tasting carnival food and free fireworks the evening of July 2 and July 4. Always one of the featured highlights of the Carnival, prize drawings will be held nightly culminating with the coveted drawing for a new 2011 Ford Mustang at midnight on July 4. And perhaps, best of all, the proceeds from the Carnival benefit the Rolla Lions Club Park, including vision and hearing programs, area youth activities and scholarships for local students.
To list all of the members of the Rolla Lions Club and Rolla Lioness members, and their family and friends who volunteer to host the carnival every year would be a near impossibility. Suffice it to say it would be a tall order to describe another event in our community that provides so much fun, entertainment and memories for such a good cause, for so many folks, at such an affordable price. So please plan to attend the 76th annual Lions Club Carnival, show your support for this great and wonderful park, and have a great time doing it. For a complete list of happenings at the carnival, you can also visit www.rollalions.org/~lions/carnival.
With the July 4th holiday just around the corner I would be remiss to not remind residents and visitors to please exercise extreme caution if you discharge fireworks. July 4th and fireworks may seem like they go together like apple pie and ice cream, but in reality the only time an individual or organization may discharge fireworks in Rolla, without a permit is from July 1 to July 5 (per Section 14-2 of the Rolla City Code). The discharge of fireworks during any other day of the year is prohibited. Please also remember that fireworks may not be discharged between the hours of midnight and 8 a.m., and no fireworks shall be discharged within 50 feet of any stand, booth, or other location where fireworks are being sold. The discharge of fireworks in any City park any day throughout the year is also prohibited. Parks and Recreation Director Ken Kwantes and his staff will once again post signs in City parks to alert the public. Please remember, that fireworks are considered dangerous explosives that can inflict injury and even death.
The warmer than usual temperatures we experienced lately certainly remind us all that we live in Missouri, but fortunately there’s plenty of opportunity to cool off this summer at SplashZone – Rolla’s refreshing outdoor water park. Located in beautiful Ber Juan Park at 14th and Holloway Streets, this fun-filled water park will remain open throughout the summer months Monday through Friday (noon-7 p.m.) and Saturday and Sunday (noon-6 p.m.). I’d like to also mention that Monday, July 4th is “Independence Dollar Day” at SplashZone – and admission is only $1. Be sure to bring lots of sunscreen whenever you’re spending time outdoors – especially between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. For more information, please call 364-8222 or 341-2FUN.
The Rolla Public Library Summer Reading Program is still open for registration, and continues to be a popular way to spend time over the summer, as children up to age 12 travel around the world, learning about different people, places and cultures through stories, activities and crafts. The Summer Reading Program is held in the Leola Millar Children's Addition on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. through July 28, and is free of charge. For more information, please call 573-364-2604 or stop by the Rolla Public Library at 900 North Pine Street. Stay safe, and enjoy the weekend!