HUNTLEY – For Memorial Day weekend, what could be better than family, friends, funnel cakes and high-flying fun? The Rotary Club of Huntley presents its annual Rotary Spring Fling Carnival at the Walmart Supercenter on Route 47 in Huntley Friday through Monday. In its fifth year, rotary President Jim Uszler said it is an event the club holds as a way to connect with the community.
“We didn’t have any carnivals before this. It was something missing in the area,” Uszler said. “We’re always looking for ways to connect with the community and raise funds for the various community work that we do.”
After expenses, proceeds from the carnival will go to the rotary club for community service projects. Last year’s carnival brought in about $2,000.
The Rotary Club of Huntley contributes to local projects that include sponsoring Rotary Exchange students, Huntley High School student scholarships, provision of digital literacy tools to children and students in School District 158 and the Huntley Area Public Library, support for the Grafton Food Pantry and local Salvation Army projects.
Internationally, the club raises awareness and funding for clean drinking water in developing nations, has purchased Shelterboxes for areas devastated by natural disasters, and supports the work of the Rotary Foundation such as the eradication of polio.
“This type of event shows the people in the community that we really want to connect with them,” Uszler said. “The rotary emphasizes connection to the community. Even though we are an international organization working on worldwide initiatives, the club really focuses on the community.”
Huntley 14-year-old Marjan Khandan has attended the carnival for three years.
The soon-to-be Huntley High School freshman will visit the carnival this weekend, friend in tow.
“I have been going to the carnival for three years and always with my friend, Makayla Porter,” Khandan said. “I always return because I am able to go onto any ride I want for hours just by getting the wristband. I look forward to the thrill of the rides, drinking a slushy and hanging out with Makayla.”
Marjan’s mother, Huntley resident Laura McLuckie Khandan, said she appreciates the local, family friendly event.
“An event like the carnival is a great local place to take your family that is safe and fun. Knowing that any proceeds gained provides money for a variety of charities Rotary supports like scholarships, Shelterbox, wheelchair ministry, end polio now, and others makes me happy that we can support a good cause and have a great time. I’m so grateful for all the service Rotary provides.”
Carnival features include rides like Zero Gravity and the Wacky Worm roller coaster as well as the Fun Slide and Dragon Wagon kiddie rides. Concessions include funnel cakes, cotton candy, hot dogs and lemon shake-ups and, of course, carnival games will be available for play with prizes.
Entry is free with ride and game tickets available for purchase. Attendees who bring up to two canned goods for donation to the Grafton Food Pantry will receive a $1 discount on all unlimited ride specials purchased onsite, with the exception of Last Blast Monday.