Sarah Rodriguez peers through one of the static displays that will be part of a game Friday night at the El Campo Carnival at the Vale Rodeo grounds. Rodriguez is one of the organizers of the event. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).

VALE – The Vale Rodeo grounds will be bustling with laughter, games and plenty of fun Friday with the El Campo Carnival.

The carnival begins at 6 p.m. and goes to 8 p.m. and will showcase more than 20 games and other fun events including face painting, a silent auction and a treasure hunt, according to organizer Sarah Rodriguez.

“We are excited and we will have some fun,” said Rodriguez.

The carnival was on hiatus last year because of Covid, said Rodriguez, but this year a host of volunteers and organizations, including the Vale Community Coalition, banded to make the event happen.

“Bring your kids and have some fun,” said Rodriguez, who owns Luzetta’s Flowers in Vale.

Rodriguez said the proceeds for the carnival go to support Vale youth baseball. Tickets for the event are 50 cents.

Rodriguez said the event “gives kids something to do,” and proved to be popular in the past.

“This gives kids something exciting to do locally,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said the El Campo carnival began more than 30 years ago and was held in the upstairs meeting hall at The Golden Slipper – which collapsed in 2017 - and later at the Vale Fire Hall.

The carnival slowly faded but in 2019 Rodriguez and a group of volunteers resurrected the event.

Rodriguez said about 100 people help out with the event.

“A lot of the volunteers are of the older generation and with this event we bridge that gap. Kids see older people giving back their time and hopefully they will understand what it takes to have a community and to have Viking pride,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said she is also grateful for the help of the Vale Rodeo Board in allowing the event to happen.

This year, she said, because of Covid, booths will be set up across the rodeo grounds to house games and other activities.

“This makes memories for kids and its important because I have memories that make me smile,” said Rodriguez.

News tip? Contact Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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