Carnival Marks 96 Years

The Coleman Bros. festival known locally as 'The Rainmaker' is set up and raring to go in the Palmer Field parking lot off Washington Street in Middletown.


Today's clear skies and brisk air mean the conditions are ripe for the 96th annual Coleman Bros. Carnival tonight — epecially if you consider the weather forecast for the weekend of snow, sleet and rain through Sunday.

Tim Coleman, third-generation owner of the carnival, says every year when the carnival comes to Middletown, the rain clouds advance, which has earned the festival the nickname of "The Rainmaker."

Middletown Patch stopped by Friday afternoon and caught the rides, food vendors and scene in all its carny glory. On Saturday and Sunday, family wristbands can be purchased for $20 through 4 p.m. and may be used through closing time. Prices are: 20 coupons for $18 and 50 coupons for $45.

The Coleman Bros. website offers a bit of history: "The carnival began when Richard 'Dick' Coleman bought a used, steam-driven merry-go-round in 1916 for $250. It was set up under the Portland Bridge and he charged passersby for rides.

"He was 27 at the time and $250 was a whole lot of money for the clothing store salesman who also dabbled as a promoter of wrestling matches, basketball games and boxing exhibitions. Even then, Dick Coleman couldn't reign in his adventuresome spirit and his penchant for showmanship."

As soon as the clock hits 6 p.m. Sunday, staff will pack up all the rides and head to Shelton April 4-15.

Coleman Bros. Carnival runs tonight 6-11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 2-10 p.m., at Palmer Field, off Route 66 (Washington Street) in Middletown.

Darrell Lucas March 31, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Nice day for pics. Thursday was my day off and I was wanting to go but it was cold and cloudy. eh, next year.


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