Utica - “Who doesn’t love fried Oreos?” asks Allen LaVenture, Carnival Eats Event Promoter.
After a huge turnout last month in Syracuse, Main Events Amusements’ Carnival Eats has made its way to Greater Utica at the Elks Lodge on Champlin Avenue at the first-ever drive-thru carnival.
“You've got your fried Oreos, your fried dough, fried Twinkies, funnel cake, candy and caramel apples, deep-fried pickles, fresh-squeezed lemonade, frozen lemonade...” said LaVenture.
Customers will be able to order their favorite carnival snacks and pick them up without leaving their vehicle.
“All of this has been done with the Department of Health, following all of the regulations to make sure people stay safe. They will come up to your car, they'll take your order, and they will fulfill your order and bring it back to you so you don't have to step out. We really don't want people to get out of the car. Very, very strict rules. We want people to be safe. We ask that people have their masks on when they order and all of the attendants who will be taking the orders will be wearing masks and gloves,” adds LaVenture.
While there is still many precautionary steps to be taken before amusement parks reopen - which will likely be in Phase 4 of the state’s reopening - aside from the rides, customers say this event makes them feel like they are at one.
“This is great it's a wonderful idea. Is this not the best thing?” said Sister Lynn Abdelnour. “We ordered two lemonades and we came for the funnel cakes.”
“It's nice. The kids thought it was the State Fair, so it's nice to get them out of the house and get them a little treat,” said Megan, mother of two before one of her children, excited, said, “We're getting cotton candy, a funnel cake, a large lemonade and that's it.”
“Supporting the Elks and I think that the other thing is using our imagination and creativity to be able to support and have a good time doing it,” said Sister Betty Giarrusso.
LaVenture says after being cooped up at home for months, this is what residents needed.
“I wouldn't say a rite of passage but it's a right of summer. You know for people to get out, go to those carnivals, go on the rides - and anything that you do in upstate New York always has to do with food - so although we weren't able to bring the rides out now, to be able to bring back some of those favorites, put some smiles on people’s faces, I mean that's really what it's about,” said LaVenture.
Carnival Eats will be open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. June 5-7 and June 12-14.