Libertytown Carnival (copy)

Check out one of the many carnivals in Frederick County.

Carnival season effectively kicks off in May with the Mother Seton School carnival in Emmitsburg. From there, it’s all hands on deck until Sept. 21, when The Great Frederick Fair effectively wraps up the season with arguably the most distinguished carnival throughout the county.

But what about the smaller carnivals? You know — the ones that might not come with all the ballyhoo that The Great Frederick Fair offers? What about the smaller rides, less food options and uber-familial atmosphere? Those will be on display this summer, too, as most every fire department from Walkersville to Urbana to Sykesville to Middletown typically provide a less grandiose fair — but still just as fun as the big boys.

Besides, as long as you have the staples of a carnival always present, you can’t go wrong. Novelty food items such as a fried Snickers or a Big Cheese Stick … On A Stick? Check. Rides that creek with every turn? Check. Super fun, impossible-to-win games that dangle a huge stuffed animal in front of you as bait for throwing quarters in glasses? Double check. Carnivals are as American as country music, Texas Roadhouse and Hank Williams singing The Star Spangled Banner while holding a gun.

Just envision the bright flashing lights, the equally grotesque and appetizing smells, the pet-able animals, the infectious games, the delicious food trucks, the homebred cover bands and the never shy crowds, and — especially in Frederick County — you’ll feel as home as ever.

For a list of towns with carnivals and dates, click here.

Follow Colin McGuire on Twitter: @colinpadraic

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