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Hog Explosion adds carnival

Special to the Courier

Traditionally, this is the time of year when school children take a deep breath and relax from their hectic schedules, sports, band trips and massive amounts of homework. To help students celebrate spring break, the fundraising Wild Hog Explosion will feature a first class carnival. This marks the first time Bandera has hosted a carnival in many years. Staff, volunteers and directors at the Bandera County Public Library welcome Merriam Midway Shows as a part of the annual library fundraiser. For over 50 years, Merriam Midway Shows have been delighting both the young and the young at heart. This well-known carnival group produces around 35 shows a year and now they’ve added Bandera’s Wild Hog Explosion to their list. Merriam Midway Shows has their winter quarters in Somerset, but their shows are on the road most of the year. The carnival season starts the second week of February with the next four months spent touring Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. In mid-May, the shows head north for the summer, splitting into two midways and touring Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and South Dakota. In mid-September, the shows head south again and close the season just before Thanksgiving. The Wild Hog Explosion midway will feature a 60-foot Ferris Wheel, bumper cars and a brand new carrousel with 30 intricately carved horses, rabbits, cats and zebras, among other animals. “We have rides that go fast, spin, turn you upside down and inside out!” said owner Todd Merriam. “There will be rides and games and great carnival food, too. We’re very excited to be in Bandera and are pleased to help with this benefit for the Bandera County Public Library.” The carnival is now open for business at Mansfield Park on Highway 16 North. Special wristband nights will be held from 5 pm to 10 pm, Thursday, March 17; 5 pm to 11 pm, Friday, March 18; and 1 pm to 8 pm, Sunday, March 20. Wristbands cost $15 and allows purchasers on as many rides as they like during the allotted times. In addition, beginning at 6 pm on Friday, the library will host a Battle of the Bands competition. Finals will be held 6 pm until 10 pm Saturday night. The Wild Hog Explosion will be held Saturday, March 19, at Mansfield Park. For more information about the carnival or the Battle of the Bands, call 830-796-4447 or visit www.wildhogexplosion.com.