Carnival - amusement park ride
Photo by justinbrodt2013 via Twenty20

How can you find out when carnivals are coming to town?

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I often see the big Ferris wheels and the rest of the carnival rides in parking lots all set up with the bright lights and big rides when I’m driving by on the freeway. Inevitably, when I want to go check it out in person, the whole thing has packed up and gone.

Is there some way to find out in advance where and when these traveling carnivals/amusement parks will be in my area?


Amusements & fun fairs

Ah, traveling carnivals — nearly the most fun you can have in a parking lot. Think of it: Ferris wheels and bumper cars, funnel cakes and frozen lemonade. What’s not to like? Really, the only annoying part is the seemingly random schedules. (Well, okay, and some of the prices.)

Here are some links that might help. If they don’t, or you’re only looking for very local amusement fairs, contact your local Convention and Visitors Bureau to see if they have a calendar of events available.

Another source is EventBrite — just punch in your city (or let it read your location) and you will be able to see what fun fairs, carnivals & amusement rides will be in your area over the next few months.

Ferris wheel
Ferris wheel photo by dashu83/Freepik

Touring carnivals

Butler Amusements: Carnivals in the western US: California, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada

Talley Amusements: Fun for everyone down in Texas

Kissel Brothers: Carnivals in Ohio & Kentucky

Still more carnival companies are listed at CarnivalWarehouse.com and CarnivalMidways.com — and many of the sites they link to offer tour routes.