For people tired of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Aiken Fest is offering literally a breath of fresh air and some fun.
Sunday was a good day to experience the outdoor carnival-style event at the Aiken Fairgrounds.
The sky was blue, and the sun shone brightly.
“It’s a little chilly, but it’s not hot and there are no bugs,” said Terri Mettlen, who was enjoying Aiken Fest with her family. “I was really surprised that they were going to have a fair in February. It’s a pleasant surprise, and it’s definitely something for the community to do and a big spirit booster.
“Everybody is going stir crazy because of this pandemic,” she continued. “The rain (last week) made it so much worse. I think it’s going to rain again this week, so we are here taking advantage of the good weather.”
Aiken Fest, which is scheduled to continue daily through Feb. 28, has rides such as the Himalaya, Pharaoh’s Fury, Starship 3000 and Ring of Fire.
There also are games and vendors selling food, including corn dogs, candy apples, chicken tenders, funnel cakes, hamburgers, French fries, sweet corn and turkey legs.
Aqeel Perry wasn’t interested in the rides.
He said he came to Aiken Fest to “get out to of the house and get some fresh air.
“I’m going to play some games – something I can win – and get some munchies,” Perry added.
Joining Emma Mayo at Aiken Fest were her two children, her brother, and her mother and stepfather.
Her 5-year-old daughter, Mia, was “very excited,” Mayo said. “She loves to get on the rides, and I love to see her laugh and have fun.”
While Mayo talked, Mia rode the carousel with her uncle, Sam Faulk.
Reithoffer Shows is conducting Aiken Fest.
For Shaquille Clinton, who works for Reithoffer, there is more than usual to do because of the pandemic.
He was spraying sanitizer on the Himalaya’s cars and wiping them down between each group of riders.
“I’m fine with it,” Clinton said “It’s a good thing. It keeps everybody safe.”
Aiken Fest also is known as the Aiken Festival.
For more information, visit aikenfestival.com or the Aiken Festival page on Facebook.
The Aiken Fairgrounds, which also is known as the Western Carolina State Fairgrounds, is at 561 May Royal Drive.