Rotary carnival returns Sept. 18

Get ready for a weekend of traditional family fun when the Wilton Rotary Club Carnival returns for a 26th year on Friday, Sept. 18.
“We’ll have all the rides and games that people like,” said Rotary Carnival Chair Pat Russo, “including The Avalanche, which is a very popular ride.”
The three-day carnival at the corner of School Road and Route 7 is the Rotary Club’s biggest fund-raiser for local and international improvement projects.
“We’re raising money for all the organizations and programs that we support,” said Pat Russo, Rotary Carnival chair. “From the Wilton Ambulance Corps and Wilton CERT to our high school scholarships and student exchange program.”
The carnival will feature more than 20 rides and several games of chance provided by Tufano Amusements Inc., with food and drinks — including a full kids’ menu — provided by Marly’s Bar & Bistro.
Individual ride tickets will be available, as well as $25 wristbands for unlimited rides for the following time slots:

  • Friday: 6-10 p.m.

  • Saturday: 12-5 p.m.

  • Saturday: 5-10 p.m.

  • Sunday: 12-5 p.m.

About 3,000 people attend the carnival each year, said Russo, and with a Wilton High School football game on the carnival’s opening night, more are anticipated this year.
“We sell 1,000 to 1,200 wristbands each year,” said Russo, “and some people come back multiple times.”
The Wilton Rotary Club has been planning and preparing for this year’s carnival for about three months, said Russo, and the rides have been booked since last year.
“One of the things we plan for right away is the following year’s carnival,” he said. “We’ve booked next year’s carnival before this one even started.”
Russo said the Rotary Club has been “aggressively” gathering sponsors for this year’s carnival.
“We’ve received an outpouring of support from local businesses and professionals,” said Russo, including but not limited to Westy Self Storage, Fashion Floors, Wilton Auto & Tire, Mills & Mills Insurance, Vision Consultants, Marly’s and Frank C. Spencer, CPA.
“We will have an upwards of about 25 new sponsors this year,” said Russo, “and we’ll be printing banners for them and mounting them around the rides.”


As for parking, Russo said, volunteers will direct cars into a lot on School Road next to the carnival.
“We asked for the lot adjacent to carnival, which we didn’t have last year because of the gas line installation,” said Russo, “so this year, that will be back.”
Attendees of Friday night’s football game are asked to park at Cider Mill, from which a pathway to the carnival will be lit.
People are asked not to park in the lot across the street because, Russo said, “we don’t want people crossing Route 7.”