ferris wheel

Ferris Wheel Coming to CarmelFest in July

CarmelFest, a two-day Independence Day celebration, is an annual summer fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Carmel that always draws a hefty crowd. It’s chock-full of fun activities including a parade, talent show, fireworks, live music, food and drinks, local artists, a beer garden, and a KidsZone. Last year two mechanical rides were added to the KidsZone, which were hugely successful. This year brings another exciting ride to the event, with the addition of a 55-foot-tall Ferris wheel! It will not be in the KidsZone, but will be on-site for attendees to enjoy.

Because the Rotary Club’s logo includes a wheel that looks a lot like a Ferris wheel, Jeff Lenz, CarmelFest’s chairman, had an epiphany. He suggested bringing in a Ferris wheel to CarmelFest and calling it the Rotary Wheel. The Carmel Rotary leadership team, which includes Lenz, Steve Krusie, Christine Zoccola and William Howard, got busy making the vision a reality.

“The great thing about the Rotary Wheel is that it’s the first ride we’ve ever had that will be multigenerational,” says Krusie.

This year’s KidsZone will include a variety of entertainment including international groups, children’s rock bands, and martial arts. There will be Disney princesses, Abundant Youth Empowerment, Academy of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, the Ballet Theatre of Carmel, and Master Yoo World Class Taekwondo. Performers include Bach To Rock Carmel and Fishers, School of Rock Fishers, Carmel Sister City, and the Indiana Ballet Conservatory, among others.

“This is a great way to educate kids about the different cultures and genres in the city of Carmel,” says Osborne.

Rides at the KidsZone will include a bungee trampoline, ballistic swing, and pirate’s revenge, while attractions will include water balloon wars and an eight-person toxic meltdown action game.

CarmelFest began in 1990, put on by the City of Carmel, as a celebration for the Carmel community. Through the years its popularity has grown. Now the festival draws approximately 50,000 people from all across central Indiana. Although the City of Carmel still sponsors the fireworks display, in 2004 the Rotary Club of Carmel began leading the charge to present CarmelFest and has done so ever since. They use the funds generated by the festival for philanthropic purposes.

“We do service and mission projects – things our communities need help with in terms of time, resources and finances,” says Krusie.

The money raised by CarmelFest ensures that the Rotary Club can continue to provide scholarships and other services for the community, making it a win-win for everyone who attends.

According to Krusie, a variety of organizations throughout the community and the Hamilton County area help make CarmelFest a safe and secure success, including the Carmel Police Department and the Carmel Fire Department.

Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster on the 1960s television show “The Munsters,” will make a special appearance at CarmelFest thanks to Napleton Auto Group. Fans can meet Patrick and take pictures of the iconic Dragula car.

CarmelFest takes place July 3 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., and July 4 from noon to 10 p.m. For more information, visit carmelfest.net.

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