Send in the clowns, or at least the rides, games and fried food.

Merriam Carnival returns to Copperas Cove next week, bringing in fun and games for children, teens and grown-ups to enjoy.

“It’s one of those smaller-scale carnivals, right here in our own backyard,” said Betty Price, president at the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce. “You can take the kids out for an evening of fun. Play some games, ride some rides. You don’t have to drive outside our city for that.”

Parking and admission to the carnival, taking place at Ogletree Gap Park, are free, and the carnival operators are offering “ride all you can” bracelet deals to save families money.

For $17, participants can purchase a bracelet that will entitle them to five hours of free rides at specific time periods during the carnival’s run.

“It’s a great deal if you have a family,” said Christine Martin, who works with the carnival. “It makes it more affordable.”

The event will also offer games for children, where a prize can be won each time, and games for older patrons that offer a bit more challenge, along with a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and bungee-type rides and an abundance of fried foods including funnel cakes and corn dogs.

Ogletree Gap Park is located at 1878 Post Office Road.

Festivities are set for from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4; 5 to 11:30 p.m. Oct. 5; 1 to 11:30 p.m. Oct. 6; and 1 to 9 p.m. Oct. 7.

Contact Audrey Spencer at or (254) 501-7476

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