Have you ever wondered what the holidays are like when you work for a carnival? Thanksgiving 2001, I was a carnie. And although I was hundreds of miles away from my family, missing out on the traditions that I had grown to love, this will go down in history as one of my favorite Thanksgivings ever!
I didn’t know what to expect. I had only been a carnie for a few months and this was the first major family-oriented holiday that I had spent with these people. It was also the first that I had spent away from family. Sure, I spent Halloween with this new chosen family of mine, but that was different. I have always seen Halloween as more of a ‘for fun’ holiday. This was one that was actually about something – being thankful for what you have.
The day started out fairly normal. The only exception was that I heard rumors that the bosses were going to feed us before work. We cleaned up, loaded on the bus, and rode to the San Antonio K-Mart parking lot we were working at that week. Some friends and I went into the store for drinks and to look at the neat stuff. I was expecting my first child at the time and was particularly interested in the children’s books and toys.
We went out to see if the food was ready yet. It was not, so my boyfriend and I wondered over to the Ferris Wheel. We got on and ya know what? The silly ride jock who was running the thing just left us there! Up at the top – no way down. It was nice, looking down at the world, enjoying the breeze, being alone with no interruptions. But it also got a little frustrating when I needed the restroom and we saw that they were starting to serve dinner with us up in the air! Someone let us down though just in time to enjoy one of the best Thanksgiving dinners I ever had.
The food… Was good. Can’t compare to what my aunt and grandmother make, but it was the only home-cooked meal we had in months. And the company… It doesn’t get much better than being surrounded by your best friends in a relaxed environment where you are free to enjoy yourself.
After dinner, our day continued as normal. I went to the concession stand where I would spend my day making Cotton Candy as my significant other headed for the bumper cars. Then we spent the rest of our evening bringing smiles to the faces of some of the wonderful people of San Antonio, Texas.