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An estimated 350 million people visit a carnival each year, making carnivals one of the most popular forms of family entertainment in the country.

There are approximately 500 carnivals that travel the United States each year, ranging in size from one or two rides to over 100 portable rides.

Most carnivals remain family owned businesses with second and even third generation ownership.

Almost all carnivals are sponsored by non-profit organizations which receive a significant portion of the proceeds from the event. Carnivals have helped to fund scholarships, buy needed fire or emergency rescue equipment, and generally help organizations fund charity work in almost every community in the country.

The carnival made its debut in North America in 1894 when Frank C. Bostock brought their model of an English Fair to the United States.

Carnivals remain one of the safest forms of family entertainment. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) reports more injuries from basketball pickup games, exercise equipment and billiard games than from carnivals. In fact, over 80% of all carnival ride related injuries are caused by "horseplay" and failure to follow the safety instructions given by the ride operator.

Some carnivals carry a portable school and full time teacher so the children of workers can receive a top quality education while their parents travel the country. The various stops along the carnival's route make for excellent field trips.

Source: Outdoor Amusement Business Association


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