Sunshine a thrill for the carnival

WHAT a roller-coaster ride it’s been for the crew at the Coffs Jetty Carnival.

They’ve only had one or two rain-free nights since they set up shop on December 17 and they’re hoping the weather will be much kinder to them for the rest of their stay.

The carnival has been visiting our city for the past 18 years and will be operating up to and including Australia Day.

“We have opened every night and we’ve battled the weather,” said co-organiser Luke Hennessy.

“We’ve had one really successful night but the others haven’t been so good because of the weather.”

The carnival is open each day from 6.30pm to 11pm and one of the features this year is the return of the Skywalker, Australia’s premier extreme thrill ride.

Then there’s the Big Whizzer, the Jumbo Slide, the Dodgem Cars, the Sea Circus (a three-storey fun house) and the traditional sideshow alley.

The organisers say all is readiness for tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations which include a mega fireworks display on the Jetty from 9.30pm.

They have decided to continue with the successful booze-free/ride-free promotion which targets teenagers aged from 13 to 16.

“On New Year’s Eve they are breath-tested when they arrive and sign in and are breath-tested before they leave,” Luke’s brother, Chris, said.

“If they remain alcohol-free, they are entitled to return to the carnival on January 3 when they will have a night of free rides.

“It’s an incentive for kids not to go out and get drunk. It’s good for us and we’re giving something back to the community.

“We’re rewarding kids for doing the right thing and it sets a standard for them – they get to realise it’s cool not to get drunk.”

The Hennessy brothers say the big attraction of their carnival is it’s a family friendly and alcohol-free atmosphere.

“Coming to Coffs Harbour is definitely the highlight of the year for us and the other good thing is that the carnival is made up of family businesses,” Luke said.

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